The Pastor’s Toolbox: Our Homes

“Sometimes They Speak Volumes”
“Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive…” (1 Timothy 3:2-4) 
By our homes I mean the whole package–The physical property, the organization, the size, but most important, or families who occupy them.
Two of the requirements of the pastor elder’s Office are that he practice hospitality and that he manage his family well. Though he may be an excellent teacher and possess some of the character of Joshua and the patience of Job, he is unfit for the position if he is not a good manager of his home and if he does not possess the gift of hospitality.
Let’s consider some of the aspects of our homes in relationship to ministry. First, the price of the house should never put our congregation under strain to support our lifestyle. At the same time, or homes should not be so stark that we are in embarrassment to the church. Neither should we put ourselves in a bind financially so that any of our bills become delinquent or that we neglect our own financial contributions to the gospel work.
Second, we know that God is not a God of confusion in his church, and we are a very important part of that body. Our homes should be characterized by order and proper decorum to the extent that we can live efficiently, redeeming the time. A home that is constantly messy and in need of repair costs us money, but more importantly cost us time that could be spent on more strategic issues. I realize that a home with small children is difficult to keep straight at all times. But even children can be taught to put away their toys, to not destroy things, and to help in other ways to keep her homes neat and attractive.
In connection with children, we are to manage our families well. We are also to lead our wives in a loving way. We are set the tone for our families by making sure that Christ is put first in our plans, our finances, our time, and the things we talk about. It would take more space than allowed here to spell out all the possible details as to what it means to me and your families well. But it can be summarized by saying that it should be very evident to all who come in contact with the members of our  families that we stand it clearly with Christ in his purposes.
The last area is the hospitality of the pastor and his family. By hospitality I do not simply mean that people are invited into our homes. Hospitality involves more than giving people a place to stay in a meal. To be a hospitable person means that we draw people in and make them comfortable around us and then they perceive that we genuinely care for them.
I have had the unhappy experience of staying in a home where A bed and meal were offered, but it was patently clear that the wife had no hospitable feelings towards me. That made the whole experience extremely embarrassing and uncomfortable. Quickly I moved to another setting. Had I been a lost person, I could’ve easily drawn the conclusion and the wife could not possibly believe what they professed as a family.
No doubt many have been drawn to Christ by the interest that godly people have shown them by opening their homes, their families, and their hearts to those who are lonely or deprived. That is a most powerful witness and is a distinct call of Christ in our lives. For the pastor, it is not only a call but a requirement.
Gary Chaffins, is co-pastor at The Grace Community Church at Bigelow in Portsmouth, Ohio. He has a beautiful wife, two rotten kids, a big-white dog, and carries a large NASB.
Comments
One Response to “The Pastor’s Toolbox: Our Homes”
  1. Great thoughts on the importance of a pastor not going alone, but having a family that is as much ministry minded as himself.

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