Search This Blog

Follow by Email

Monday, October 9, 2017

Oh, Dear God, Please Don’t Call My Kids to Ministry

I’m glad I’ve been called to ministry.  I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life.  But I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard.  That’s the understatement of forever, and try to take that in the context of an author who loves hyperbole.  By hard; I mean heartrending, life changing, breaking me down to the core and beyond at times, blood, sweat, and too many tears, scar inducing hard.

And so, for this reason, I admit that I have sometimes prayed, “Oh, Dear God, please don’t call my kids to this.” 

I thought we were doing OK…

I have kids who want to be video game programmers, composers, and architects.  I have one who wants to be a theological paleontologist and discover the backstory of the creation of the world.  I don’t really know if that’s a thing, but it sounds pretty safe, right?  And then I have a seven year old who declared pretty early on that she was going to be an OBGYN, which I thought was a lofty (if somewhat specific) goal for second grade… until she approached me one afternoon and proclaimed that she needed to preach.

Well, crap.

Like any good pastor mom who wishes her kid would choose something less risky, like logging, fishing, flying airplanes, collecting garbage, or construction (try to find the humor… these are the five deadliest jobs in the United States); I put her off.  But she was relentless.  Finally, I told her that she could preach if she prepared a manuscript.  I mean, what seven year old is going to put in that kind of work?  The answer is mine.  I came home from the office the next day and found her with a stack of papers that included not only her sermon but an entire order of worship (call to worship, music, children’s moment with ‘Pastor M,’ (that’s what I get for using only one initial), Scripture, and prayer.

We listened to Pastor M2 (that’s what I decided to call her) as she preached, last night.  Her siblings laughed too much.  I made them sit up front for the 'children’s moment.'  I don’t care that they’re teenagers.  Of course, I joined her, kneeling on the floor, for prayer.  She was missing one of her papers, so she rustled through them with a confused look on her face before throwing her hands up in the air (I turned to my husband and said, "Oh my gosh... she's just like me").  When we sang “Jesus Loves Me,” as the closing hymn; she marched her little self right out the door and waited to shake each of our hands and thank us for coming to church.  There were fist bumps, as well.

The other day, she said, “Church people are nicer than other people.” 

Those stinking teenager siblings all choked to death, and I shot them a look that justified the dying.  It seems that her church experience has been different than theirs, thus far.  But I was still holding out hope that this is a phase…  Mommy’s a pastor, I love Mommy, I should be a pastor, too…  It’s the kind of thing that could fade with time and age.

I was hopeful that she got the “I need to preach” bug out of her system. 

She greeted me, this morning, with, “I think the next time I preach will be on Christmas, but I’m not sure what to do for the call to worship…” 

I gave her a hymnal, as I walked out the door…



  1. Good luck with her changing her mind Lisa! Deborah has believed she is called to ministry since before her mother passed. She is a senior this year, and still believes it. She will go to Olivet next year. If she is called, she will go!

    Barb Mitchell

    1. Blessings on Deborah, as she follows God's call! I'm so glad we're part of a tradition that recognizes the calling and giftedness of women in ministry. May she be supported and uplifted every step of the way! L.