A couple weeks ago my youngest son Jordan (6) came home from school announcing he needed a pastor's "costume". I asked him why and he explained his kindergarten class would have a "career" day event where each student could dress up as a worker or whatever they wanted to be when they grew up. Jordan wanted to be a pastor so he needed me to get him a pastor's costume. I told him it would be no problem thinking he has a little suit he wears some Sundays. Well, a couple days ago he was rather upset I hadn't gotten him a pastor's costume yet. Then I realized he wanted a robe! I'm not sure the Geneva robe comes in his size and if it does, I wasn't going to spend the $$ to get him one. So, in the end I convinced him to wear his suit and carry a bible. Yeah, he looks pretty baptist in that suit carrying his big bible, but what can I say?
On a serious note, I have been continually flattered that all three of my sons speak of wanting to be a pastor. Now, I know they're only doing this because it's what they know, it's what they see me do. Further, I honestly don't care in the least what vocations my children take up, so long as they love Christ and His Church. Heck, my retirement plan depends on my boys not becoming pastors (joke!).
The fact that all three of my boys have a positive outlook on the pastoral ministry is a credit to my wife and church. My schedule is busy and crazy at times. Lots of evening activities that take me away from home as well as the usual constant calls and emails a shepherd gets. Yet, my children think it's a worthy vocation. My wife never complains about what I (we) do. Sure, there are seasons where we wish we could get away for some refreshment, certainly their are some vocational frustrations unique to pastoral ministry. But ultimately my whole family senses we are doing what God wants us to do. Pastoral ministry is a unique vocation for so many reasons. Every family member has to embrace the calling. Yes, Redeemer called and pays me, but in reality, they called my family too. Over these 12+ years at Redeemer I have always sensed a strong support from the elders and congregation about spending proper time and attention nurturing my family. My boys have a positive view of pastoral ministry largely because of the church we minister to.
I do not take for granted there will always be contentment in my family about pastoral ministry. I pray for God to give me and my family joy in the ministry each day. I also pray that God would keep me from putting the ministry over my family. But for now, on this day, I'm touched by my baby son Jordan wearing his pastor's costume to school. I hope he doesn't rip the knees out of his pants at recess...