082 - Parenting & Ministry - Leaders.Church


082 – Parenting & Ministry

What’s in this Episode?

Have you ever found yourself chasing around in ministry and you’re just busy, busy, busy? Meetings, meetings and more meetings and all the stuff that’s going on with ministry. And then you have a spouse who’s wanting you to be at home while you’ve got young kids that you need to take care of. How do you juggle all this stuff? Well, in today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how to be a young parent, and still be involved in ministry and do both with excellence.

Read the Transcript

Dick Hardy 0:22
I remember the day when it first hit me, that the church literally could go on without me. And I’m working out in our garden, you remember the garden, we had over on 63rd Place? Tt was pretty good sized garden, and I’m out working on a Saturday morning, and I’m thinking, you know what? If the church burns down, I will deal with it on Monday morning. It’ll be it’ll be just fine without me. Now, it’s a little bit of exaggeration, in terms of the church burning down. But that’s what hit my mind, that I wasn’t so indispensable, that the church couldn’t exist without me. And every pastor, every leader, has to come to that point, at some point where you say, the church is way bigger than me. And so, I needed to be able to, and I had little kids, Jonathan and his little sister, Aaron, you know probably at that time were five and two, or, you know, seven, and four, something like that. And so, I had these priorities at home with my wife and my two kids. And I had the priorities at church. So today, we want to talk to you about that. Now, this is coming from the male perspective, how to be a pastor, and a young father. So, gals who are watching this, you got to do the translation to be a pastor and a young mother, but we’re gonna be talking in the masculine because that’s what we are. So, obviously, with a few of the gray hairs, you can see I’ve already done this drill. And he’s in the midst of it. My three grandkids, his kids, are nine and a half, six and a half and four. And the most amazing kids, they’re the most amazing. Yeah, them and their cousins down inAlabama, we just would, we’ll take those guys to the to the ends of the world. We love those kids. And he’s raising them. He’s raising these three. So, let’s drill into what it is a pastor needs to be thinking about if you’re leading young children and you’ve got these two major pieces of your life. Now, Jonathan, we’re going to talk about two things here today. So, there’s not gonna be hard for you to keep track of it. Jonathan, why don’t you talk about the first thing.

Tip #1: Don’t Confuse What You Do With Who You Are

Jonathan Hardy 2:36
Okay, the first thing is that you don’t want to confuse what you do, with who you are. So, you know, you pastor people, you shepherd, you disciple people. That’s what you do.

Dick Hardy 2:49
You use a pastor in the verb sense, right?

Jonathan Hardy 2:49
Well, you’re pastoring people. Pastoring, shepherding, leading, discipling, guiding people, that’s what you do, as a ministry leader. Who you are, well, you are a, quote, unquote, Pastor, but you’re first and foremost child of God. You are possibly a father, or, you know, or a mother. You are husband or wife. You’re a spouse. You are, you know, a friend. You’re all these things. So that’s who you are. But that’s not what you do. And so, what we have to make sure is, we don’t confuse the two. Because you have the title of Pastor, you still are all these other things to other people. What happens for people is their identity can get wrapped up into into who they are and what they do. And it’s just all like, blends into one thing. And then all of a sudden, it’s hard to really separate the two. So, when it comes to parenting, you’re, you know you just have this tension that you’re having to navigate all the time. And that just can make it really, really hard. And you know, I don’t necessarily want to say you should do 100% compartmentalize. But when you’re home, you need to be home. But if you’re constantly doing ministry, even while you’re home, and you’re neglecting your kids, well, you’ve heard the stories of what happens with a lot of kids in ministry.

Jonathan Hardy 2:55
Just say “Hey, I’m not doing this.”

Jonathan Hardy 4:22
Right. And so that happens, I think a lot of times, because people can’t separate who what they do with who they are.

Dick Hardy 4:29
Well, and I can tell you there are four main reasons why pastors, when they get up towards my age, don’t retire or transition out of the church. And one of those things is a confusion of who they are, and what they do. And when all of a sudden they aren’t doing the work of ministry, somehow they they lose their identity. You can’t let that happen. You know, so just to reinforce that point you’re making.

Jonathan Hardy 5:03
Even if you’re not, quote, unquote “pastoring a church anymore”, you are still a child of God.

Tip #2: Communicate the Church and Family as Both/And to your Family

Dick Hardy 5:07
And a husband, the whole thing. So that’s very good, Jonathan. The second point we want to talk to you about is to communicate church and family, as both/and to your, particularly to your family. You know, we’ve talked about the story of a pastor and spouse who were on a trip and that pastor got called away to an emergency a death in the church. Well, the spouse was the big player in that, because the spouse at that moment, could say, “look what the church is doing to us and again.” And look how we never can do family time because the church always encroaches. So, pastor and spouse, you’ve got to be on the same page with this. Because when you can communicate that church and family are both/and, you’re going to set the best expectations up for your children to reach the point where they begin to launch into life, and love the church. Because they love their family. They love what dad or mom get to do. And they love the fact that they get to be part of it, because the dad in this case as we’re talking, was able to communicate both/and, and the spouse rolled with it directly. So yeah, that’s absolutely huge. So, let me mention one of the things with this. I forgot. Involve your kids in ministry. I tell the story of this guy (Jonathan) when he was a little guy, when I would teach the high school boy’s Sunday school class. And so, we’d go in the morning. So, he’s like five years old. And we’d go put the, you know, the outlines, the discussion sheet on the chairs, and he followed me around to do that. And it wasn’t something like I said, “I got a job, and you got to do it.” It’s just that we enjoyed being together. And he enjoyed following dad around. And he would do these things and follow me and be involved in ministry. I watch him do the same thing with his kids. So, it’s not that we’re perfect parents or anything of that nature. But it’s just that, if you involve your kids in ministry, they see that this is what, in our case, the Hardy family does. And it means all the world to the kids for their future.


I’ll summarize for you. Don’t confuse what you do with who you are. Let that sink in. Don’t confuse what you do with who you are. And secondly, communicate church and family as both/and, both slash and to your family. If you’ll do that, you’ll find yourself positioned best to be a pastor and a young father, or if you’ve translated it to young mother, and your kids will thank you for it.

Jonathan Hardy 8:00
That’s right. Well, we want to thank you for being with us today. If you have not yet done so, we’d love to have you subscribe. Whether you’re listening to this on any podcast platform, or if you’re watching on YouTube, hit the subscribe button to that YouTube channel. And we want to continue to get the Church Tips out to you in the days to come and subscribing will help you get those. And we just thank you so much for being with us today. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time. Until then, take care.

Jonathan Hardy 8:24
Hey, Jonathan here. Real quick, before you go. Everything in your ministry rises and falls on your leadership. So investing in your leadership is essential to staying healthy and growing the ministry. And that’s why I want to invite you to join us inside the leaders.church membership. This online streaming service for pastors gives you access to more than 300 videos, plus training material to level up your leadership and improve your ministry skills. If you’d like to do that, I want to invite you to go to leaders.church/boost. Again, that’s leaders.church/boost. Well, thanks again for joining us on the Church Tips Podcast. We’ll look forward to seeing you next time.

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