As I look ahead, I realize that there are changes that I need to make in my own life for ministry. Being a father of six young children does cause for a strain between the time I have for being a pastor of a local church and developing a ministry that God has put on my heart. I am stretched, yet I am hopeful.
Being a father of six, I am also confronted with how much I fail and how underequipped I have been to do this parenting thing and am thankful for the wife that God has given me because of the great gifts that she has that I am keenly aware that I do not hold. She makes order out of chaos. I, also, have been able to observe other fathers and parents that are totally different than I am.
Let me explain, I don't have that calm, gentle voice naturally. It is work for me to use that calm, gentle voice. I watch many of these videos and programs that tell me as a parent to be this calm, soft-spoken person with my children. My wife sees these also and we have attempted this and feel defeated as our voices become elevated in order to acheive the results that we had been striving for prior to this, yet it did not seem to happen the way that we were working for in the first place.
The reality that I have come to terms with is that there are methods that may or may not work universally as well as some principles that are universal. Love is the universal and that needs to be expressed, but what is not always universal is the expression of that love and how it is felt or understood. I feel love differently than my wife and, I believe, I feel love differently from some other male friends of mine. I express love differently than my wife and other men and women also. The Five Love Languages is a great tool to understand this principle. Now in thinking about this it may be of benefit that the relationship between parent and child will also be different and will affect parenting. This is important to understand.
The same is true in ministry, though the spiritual truths do not change, the spiritual environment does. Much of the church models that we see put out there are a one-size fits all attempt. Why do we believe that? If we love differently and parent differently, why wouldn't there be varied models of worship? Not everyone will like organ music and hymns with a liturgy, but there will be those that hunger for that. Not everyone will enjoy modern praise music and no liturgy either, but that is the model that seems to be sold most often.
I am one that believes that a liturgy is for family and worship is meant to be intergenerational (kids worshipping with their parents). I hope that over this year I will be able to develop this further with some tools and hope that you will join me in this.