If adults keep putting everything and everyone in front of God, what will our children learn?
Lay It All on the Line
by Jim Kilgore
“God called me—not my family—into the ministry.”
I could not believe what I was hearing as I sat alone in my truck. The speaker went on to tell his listeners that he sent his kids to another church each week, unwilling to have them sit in his new church work until other youth had been won to Christ and the ministry began to grow. I felt there was absolutely no biblical justification for what he had said, though he tried to find it. It was only a matter of months later that his ministry died. I was saddened but not surprised.
I am a home missionary to Greenfield, California, a place where no one in my family had ever lived. We knew no one here before we moved from the area where I had lived for 30 years. My wife Tracey had lived in Kern County all her life. The San Joaquin Valley was the only place my children Caleb, Hannah, Samuel, and Daniel had lived prior to this move. They followed me when I followed God’s calling to the Salinas Valley. They sat in this new work alone while we won other young people to the Lord.
A family member recently heard a man—the father of teenagers—speak in church. He told the congregation that he had been called to pastor years ago but put off his calling until his children were grown “for their good.” Some in the pews clapped for him. Again, I was disturbed. I could not help but wonder if the Holy Spirit had convicted the speaker as those words rolled off his tongue, if he were robbed of sleep that night as lost souls, empty pulpits, and empty pews filled his mind. Could he hear the words, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).
I love my family deeply, and I would do any right thing for their physical and spiritual good, including putting them in their proper place of priority in my life according to the Word of God as shown in the following verses, “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me (Matthew 10: 37-38).
The ministry of the Lord desperately needs servants, from pastors to nursery workers. If adults, however, keep putting everything and everyone in front of God and His calling, what will our children learn? Not service. Not sacrifice. Not obedience.
“Do as I say, and not as I do” is as ineffective as it is ridiculous. As long as your children remain in your home, they are called when and where you are called. They will learn to sacrifice when you do. They will learn to serve when you do. They will learn to love God when you do. They will learn to obey Him as you do. They will learn to lay it all on the line because they see you do it first.
About the Author: Jim and Tracey Kilgore, along with three sons and one daughter, are planting a Free Will Baptist church in Greenfield, California. Learn more at www.homemissions.net.