3 Gifts Every Leader Should Give Their Family for Christmas
by Rick Howerton
I grew up in a pastor’s home. My brother and I were both called into ministry, and one of my sons is my pastor. I consult pastors on an almost daily basis. Pastors are very special to me. When I meet their wife and kids, it doesn’t take but a few minutes to realize when a family longs for more from their pastor parent and spouse. The Christmas season is a very important time for any family, a time when pastors should be especially sensitive to meeting their family’s needs.
Almost every pastor I know is going to give their families the best Christmas presents they possibly can. But I believe the following gifts are better than any material possession a pastor can pick up at the local mall.
1. Uninterrupted and significant amounts of time.
Most pastors are on call 24 hours a day. In many pastor’s homes, when the phone rings, everyone cringes. No matter if the family is playing a game together or watching a television show that is the “family favorite,” the pastor is often drawn into an elongated phone call or has to head off to take care of some situation. Pastor, if you want to greatly bless and impress your family, turn your phone off and set it aside some during this holiday season. If necessary, change your voicemail to say that you’re on vacation (if you’re vacationing during this time) and checking voicemail periodically. Your family will love ya’ for it.
2. A model follower of Christ, worshiping Him.
I can’t speak for you, but I must confess, in the past, I’ve been guilty of telling others how to lead their families to worship the Messiah during advent without being consistent with this in my own home. I’d be nearly certain that my hypocrisy had a negative affect on my family’s faith. During this advent season, whatever you request of your church members, be certain you do it in your own home.
3. A willingness to do whatever your family would like to do, as their lives so often revolve around the church.
In many churches, the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a very slow time. Most church leaders will choose to vacation these seven days. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, might I suggest that you find out what your family would like to do then do it? We need to remember that, throughout the year, because the pastor’s life revolves around church expectations and events, so does the life of those who make up the pastor’s family. Giving the family first priority and letting them decide what the family will do will make up some for the number of times their lives are lived outside the realm of normality.