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  • Jonathan Painter

Family in the Ministry

There is a common misconception regarding the ministry that is quite unhealthy for the family. The misconception is that the ministry robs the father from the home. If a father is going to be involved in church work and serving the LORD then he has to sacrifice being the kind of father he needs to be for his children. With this misconception, people have begun to fear ministry work as something that separates the family and negatively impacts the home. This should not be the case. Family and ministry should not be enemies. A wise family will utilize the ministry to teach their children the joy of serving the LORD.

I want to introduce you to a man is only mentioned three times in Scripture. Twice he is mentioned in conjunction with his family and once he goes on a missions trip. This man was heavily involved with the ministry but was still very much a family man. This man's name is Stephanas and we are going to look at what made Stephanas successful in both ministry and family. Today I want to draw three observations from Stephanas as what he did relates to what we should do with our families in ministry.

Stephanas lead his family in obedience.

"And I baptized also the household of Stephanas: besides, I know not whether I baptized any other." (I Corinthians 1:16)

When Paul came to Corinth he obviously had the opportunity to lead Stephanas and his family to Christ, According to this verse, there was a time when Stephanas lead his house to follow the Lord in baptism which is the first step of obedience to Jesus Christ. A wise father will lead his home in their obedience to Christ. We cannot expect our family to be obedient to God if we as fathers are not leading the way.

Stephanas lead his family in being good. (I Corinthians 16:15)

"I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)" ( I Corinthians 16:15)

The Bible says that they were of the first fruits of the Achaia. Achaia was the province in which Corinth was located. In describing the family of Stephanas Paul says that they are one of the best families in the entire province. If there was a family that was sharp it was the family of Stephanas. They were good, I believe that this was due to the leadership of a godly father. As fathers we should lead our families in being good and sharp as a testimony to the Lord. May it be that when others look at our families they might say that we are of the firstfruits in our area for being a testimony to God in how we appear and conduct ourselves.

Stephanas lead his family to love working in the ministry. ( I Corinthians 15:16)

"I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)" ( I Corinthians 16:15)

Notice the words "addicted themselves to the ministry." Stephanas taught his family how to love doing the ministry work of the saints. We need to make serving the Lord in ministry a family affair. Let us lead our families in the work of soul winning and helping others. We should strive to get our children involved in the various ministries of the church. My wife has told me that when they were young that her family lived nearly and hour away from the church they attended. In spite of the distance her parents made sure that her and her siblings were involved in the ministries and activities at church. This grew a love for the work of God amongst their children. Out of the ten children that grew up in their home nearly all of them are serving the Lord with three serving as missionaries over seas, and five others that serve on church staff in some capacity. I believe that involving our family in the work of the ministry helps to draw our children closer to God and cause them to fall in love with serving Him.

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