How to Protect Your Family as a Pastor (Part 2)

Last week in the first of this two-part series, I started the conversation about how, with a little intentionality, you can keep your spouse and children from being sacrificed on the altar of ministry.

We talked about setting boundaries and what it would look like to draw a boundary line around your home life in order to protect and nurture what’s inside.

Today we’ll look at marking those boundary lines with intentionality.

To get started, what are the pressure points that you are constantly running into with your spouse and children? Those are generally good indicators of where you need to lay down some boundary lines. Think about something that frustrates you and your family, then back off of that frustration and ask yourself what kind of boundary could eliminate it. For example, if your spouse is frustrated that you always have your phone in your hand — texting, emailing, talking or whatever you are doing — when your attention should be on the family, create a boundary to alleviate that frustration. Here are some possible guidelines that could do the trick:

  • Decide to put your phone away between the time you get home for dinner and when the kids go to bed.
  • Set a “no cell phones at the dinner table” rule for you, your spouse and your kids.This boundary alone can go a long way toward connecting you with your family on a daily basis.
  • Set a “phone off” time every night and stick to it. Once your phone is off, put it out of sight until the next morning.

Think through the boundaries you already have in place and consider the ones you may need to set up. Do you allow television during dinner? Do you commit to taking a certain amount of family vacation time annually?

Have you put a boundary around your Sabbath to keep it holy? Do you and your spouse plan time to get away alone?

Where would boundaries help you solve a problem or eliminate a recurring frustration? Take this principle and apply it to whatever needs correcting or protecting in your life. Wherever your boundary lines need to be, mark them out thoughtfully — and then honor them once they’re in place.

Click here to read Part 1 of this series.

Your partner in ministry,


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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 80 church growth resources and 15+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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