“FOUR STEPS I’VE LEARNED IN PARENTING”

As many of you know, I pastor a church in Nashville, TN and I am the senior pastor of my father’s church in Bristol, VA. I live in Nashville, but I drive every month to Bristol, so I’m able to spend time at both churches. On this trip, my wife wasn’t able to come with me due to being sick and needing to stay home and rest. However, three of my kids wanted to go with me this time. Since we home-school them, Alonna and I felt like it would be ok.

Faustino is 17, Brooklyn is 13 and MaKendra is 11. I adore my kids and love spending time with them. We are staying at a hotel here in Bristol, and after they get their school work done, we work out, we go swimming, and yesterday we watched Spider-Man with Nana (that’s my mother). Oh, and Faustino brought his PS4, so I’ve had to endure them playing mine-craft with all of its strange noises…LOL.

Every one of my kids is not only in church, but they are very much involved in it. From media, streaming, lighting, singing, church office work, helping in children’s ministry, and ushering. I also have the privilege of having my oldest daughter and her husband pastoring with me. Me and my wife are two BLESSED parents!!! Someone asked me how we’ve been able to keep our children interested in church. Well, there is no secret remedy to this, but I will tell you, we have tried to raise them in a family culture of enjoying serving, and working for God. I don’t complain about being a pastor and having to carry such a heavy load. I let them know it can be stressful, but it’s a privilege to work in the Kingdom.

We don’t allow things to come between us and our church schedule. When my girls are in softball season, the coaches know, if there are any games on a church night, they will not be there. We don’t just demand that of our girls, we have explained it, and they completely understand. We also make sure to be the best examples we can in front of them. We don’t just tell them to do something; we back it up by example.

We have found these four steps to be helpful in this process.

1. COMMUNICATE
2. TEACH
3. TRAIN
4. SHOW

We communicate what they need to know, then follow it with, teaching, training, and showing.

I do not have all the answers in raising children, but these four steps have been working in our family for twenty-seven years now. It’s not only how I try to lead as a father, but it’s also how I try and lead as a pastor. Why not write those four things down, then put them into practice, and watch your family and whatever else you lead be BLESSED.

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