From Duty to Delight

I'd become self-absorbed and numb. Could I learn to live and love again?

It took me a while to realize that ministry had become all about me. On Sundays my wife, Gayle, got herself and our kids ready while I was busing everyone else's kids to church. On our daughter's first birthday, I ran to the church ("just for a moment") and a guy snagged me to talk about his marriage problems. I got so wrapped up that I forgot my family was waiting for me! When I arrived home, the party was over, my daughter was in bed, and I had missed it all.

Another time the whole family wanted to have a picnic at the park. I didn't want to, but I was overruled. I went, but I was irritable all day. Then it hit me: Your family always does everything you want. The one time you do what they want, you're a bear.

Perhaps I was (a tad) selfish, I admitted. Unfortunately, the pastorate was perpetuating the problem.

I liked the feeling of being used by the Lord. I thrived on the attention and positive feedback. I couldn't understand why I enjoyed church members' needs me but resented my family's ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
I Was a World Series Hero on the Brink of Suicide
I Was a World Series Hero on the Brink of Suicide
Drugs had derailed my baseball career and driven me to despair. A chance encounter with a retired pastor changed everything.
Editor's Pick
How Culture Shapes Sermons
How Culture Shapes Sermons
Recent books on culturally distinct preaching challenge misconceptions and equip diverse pastors to better address a multiethnic world.
close