Holly asked me if I would guest post on her blog this week about raising kids in the ministry. I was honored that she would ask, as this is something that I am definitely passionate about. I'm Kelly and my husband Larry (Creative Pastor here at Elevation) and I have 4 daughters-ages 4, 6, 8 and 10. Yes, there is a lot of hair, talking, nail polish, tears and a little drama, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. They really are great little ladies. I tell him he is so blessed that he gets to come home to 5 women who think he is absolutely the greatest guy ever. It takes a special man to have a chatty wife and 4 daughters!
When it comes to raising a family in the ministry of Elevation Church, we are so fortunate that Pastor Steven is passionate about staff families being healthy and our kids not being left behind. Our girls get a front row seat to the movement we are part of just as much as we do, and I’m extremely thankful for that.
As our girls grow and seasons in our family change, I know the way we do certain things as it relates to ministry will change as well. But there are a few core values that we have established as a family in ministry that I believe will really help us go the distance and keep a strong family unit along the way.
•We keep our calling and the vision of our church in front of our kids.
It is so important to us that our girls know why we do what we do. We talk to them about the calling on our family, not just saying it’s “Daddy’s job.” They also know that Elevation has a vision to see people far from God filled with life in Christ. We talk to them about life change stories that we are getting to be part of - people coming to know Jesus, marriages being restored, families being put back together. I love that they will always be able to say they have seen God move first-hand!
•We don’t blame anything on the church.
This one is huge because perspective is everything. I often hear from families in ministry, “we don’t have time...”. There is never enough time, let’s be honest. Prioritizing time well can be one of the hardest things in ministry. You’ve got to make time for what matters to you, and sacrifice other things. But none of it is the church’s fault. In certain seasons of our time on staff, we have had to get real creative with our family time, but we make it work. We rally around each other and Larry in our busy times. We even decided that home educating was the best option for us right now so we can have a flexible schedule as a family. You’ve got to do your best to make your family successful where you are at-it is not the church’s job to do it for you!
•We are intentional
We try to be very intentional with our kids. In conversation, in time. Ask them questions about what they are learning and how they are doing. One of the practical ways we do this is that Larry takes one of them out on a small date each Monday night-nothing fancy most of the time, but just a time for him to connect with his daughters and speak life into them so that they would know he is invested in them and wants to know them. Being intentional takes effort but the payoff is well worth it!
•We are in it together
I said this previously, but we make sure our girls know that this isn’t just a job-but a calling on our family. Each Sunday morning we meet together in the auditorium of the Uptown location and pray for the day-that people would respond to God’s word & that He would use our girls to make an impact in their classrooms. We truly enjoy doing ministry together-whether that be serving on Sunday at Uptown, doing an outreach project together, reaching out to a neighbor, praying together etc. We want our kids to own their faith and feel like they can serve in ministry as well.