Show Notes – Episode 21

Protecting Your Family in Gospel Ministry

Paul Chappell has been the pastor of Lancaster Baptist Church for over 30 years and has authored numerous books. He and his wife, Terrie, married in 1980, and they have four adult children who are all serving the Lord with their spouses. The Chappells are delighted to be grandparents to 11 grandchildren.

What unique challenges does gospel ministry bring to family development?

We can all get caught up in the euphoria of success or the desire for acceptance and get off balance. When Christ is no longer the focus of our ministry, imbalance is sure to follow. Many times the blessings of ministry can compete with our focus on family. 

Our kids must see the same person at home as in the pulpit. 


How does the fluid nature of ministry schedule affect family balance? 

The to-do list of a leader is never finished.
A leader must be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance as to when to say yes or no.
When ministry emergencies erase a family time, make sure to replace it.

What happens when the family gets neglected for ministry?

The wife will begin to resent the ministry. Then the children grow distant. Then the church will be affected.

What are some healthy practices to navigate this tension?

  • Daily family devotions
  • Weekly family night
  • Annual family vacations
  • Sharing ministry with your family
  • Enjoying church together 

How would you encourage a young pastoral father? 

Identify your roles daily and ask for the Lord’s help in direction and emphasis, then schedule your roles into your planner.

Personal Questions:

  1. How has the fluidity of ministry challenged my family balance? What can I do to help manage my schedule?
  2. What are my God-given roles? Am I overemphasizing in a particular area? 
  3. What are some habits that I can develop to better manage the tension between my family ministry and my church ministry? 

Team Questions:

  1. How does our ministry culture encourage our leaders and their families?
  2. What can we do practically to help our leaders with family time?

Helpful Resources:

First Things First by Stephen Covey

Getting Things Done by David Allen

What’s Best Next by Matt Perman

Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung