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Leader's Insight: Kids and the Church's Dirty Laundry

How much should the family know about the ugly stuff at church?

Tight lips protect the family.

As a newlywed pastor more than twenty years ago, I learned I should not routinely dump all the problems of ministry on my husband. I think it was a wise decision.

Now our entire family is active in the church, including our two teenagers. It is important for me as a pastor to encourage each one to employ his or her gifts in specific areas of service. However, we do not make church issues and problems the center of our conversation at home.

In order to maintain appropriate boundaries of confidentiality, I limit my family's access to church information. I tend not to discuss church problems with my husband unless they directly affect his participation, or if I need his advice. We try to shield our children from any conversation about such problems, again, unless their participation in the ministry is directly affected.

We do, however, encourage our children to share with us issues they may have with peers or adults at church. I do not want my children in the position ...

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