LaVon and I were in our mid-20s with a three-year-old and a newborn when the bishop sent us to start a new church on the south side of Kansas City. Today my wife and I are approaching our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Danielle is a sophomore in college and Rebecca is a junior in high school. And we've all survived so far.
The girls survived my 80-hour weeks. They survived living in the fishbowl, feeling that eyes were constantly on them, occasionally not being invited to parties for fear their father would find out what was happening there. They survived my interviews of their dates and our refusal to let them get tattoos or die their hair blue even when all the other kids were doing it.
They survived requirements to attend worship and Sunday school, give away 10 percent of their allowance, and participate in mission projects. They survived periods of doubting their faith. And today these girls have become remarkable young women. They didn't just survive. Somehow, by the grace of God, they thrived.
Looking back, I see we did some things right with our PKs. Here are a few of the lessons I learned.
1. You are not indispensable to your church, but you are indispensable to your family.
One Saturday evening my daughter collapsed on the volleyball court. My wife called, assuring me that our daughter was okay, though an ambulance was on the way just to make sure. It was stewardship weekend, and our Saturday service was about to begin, but I handed my sermon manuscript to a staff member and asked him to do the best he could to preach it, and I went to be with my daughter. (Had I not had an associate, I would have called one of our lay leaders).
Three things happened as a result: (1) My daughter knew that she came before the ...