06 August, 2013

God, Family, Church?

God, Family, Church. You've got to get your priorities straight. I've said those words many, many times in my role as a Pastor. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that people could misinterpret those words they way that they do.  In my world, it's self explanatory. God comes first. Period. God is always first. In everything I do, the question is, does this give glory to God, help establish and strengthen my relationship with God and is it pleasing to God? Everything else, and I mean everything else comes filtered through, "how does this affect my relationship with God?" Second comes family. Outside of my relationship with God, they are the highest priority in my life. Third comes church.  Everything else falls somewhere under those three.
Most would probably agree with me on this, however how they interpret these priorities and walk it out is vastly different than the way I live my life. The God thing SHOULD be self explanatory... but apparently there is some confusion. Let me see if I can clarify this for those around me.

If God is the number one priority in my life, then it should go without saying that everything I do with my family should fall under the umbrella of that #1 priority. Right?
Some how, people have taken the fact that Family is listed above Church that Family comes before worship. You could not be more wrong! To do so then elevates Family to the number 1 priority! If your family is number 2, then having your family in worship on a regular basis (That's number 1) goes without saying! I watch people regularly put family above God, and then they wonder why they cannot get their family to want to live for God. Hello? You have shown then that worshiping God is not a priority in your life! Yes, there are exceptions, but generally speaking, you should be in the House of Worship, even if it means leaving family at home. When you do that, you testify to them that your relationship with God is the most important thing in your life. When you skip worship for family over and over, your silent witness to them is that family means more to you than God, and that is a dangerous thing to teach them. 

I know what you are thinking... "But Pastor D... you said, 'God, Family, Church!"   Yes, that is exactly what I said, but you are missing the point. That number 3 priority is not about whether or not I go to church. That is a given under priority number 1. The number 3 priority, "church" is referencing the work and goals surrounding the church. Again, worship is non-negotiable. But coming to every activity of the church is negotiable. You are not supposed to put the church above family... yet I've seen that done countless times. Quality family time is more important than if you came to the pot luck dinner, or if you came to every ladies/men's meeting or if you participated in the church play, and so on. I've said this often. There is an anointed word, and it is "NO."  Sometimes you need to say "NO" even to some of the church activities.  Again, we are not talking about worship, but the "extras" around the church. I've seen way too many parents sacrifice their kids because they were too busy with church activities 3-4 nights a week. God is not pleased with that, and you will lose your children! You'll burn out and you will take it out on them. This is what we mean by "God, Family, Church."

Any questions?

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