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The Jeremiah Johnston Show

Alister McGrath: Mere Discipleship (Encore Presentation)

January 11, 2020

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Your Family: The Most Important Ministry

Thanks for watching Justin Johnston’s latest Lego Video! Thanks for subscribing to his channel: “Justin Lego Tube” and sharing the video! (4:43 length)

A very wise friend once told me: “Jeremiah, your most important ministry is your family … never forget this.” 

I am not a perfect Dad, but I want to be.

I am not a perfect husband, but I want to be.

I will never be a perfect Christian; thank God, my Savior is perfect for me!

Notwithstanding … I will stop at nothing to put my marriage and family first. It took me about 14 years to learn this lesson (c. 2018). I hope it does not take you as long.

We need to learn to say “no” for the bigger “yes” in our lives. Yes to our walk with Christ. Yes to our family. Everything else comes next.

The good news is, we can do it! When we have our ministry priorities correct, our greater ministry (that is, the work we do outside of our marriage and family) becomes even more impactful because we minister from a place of strength. We earn the right to be heard, not because of the size of platform, or the x-factor, or any other factor other than the calling and equipping of almighty God.

I recognize this reordering of priorities does not happen overnight. Yet, with God’s , it can happen.

There are also challenges. I get it. We only have 24 hours in a day. I have a ministry that keeps me busy 8-days-per-week. I feel the tension of being a Dad to five children who each need me. They spell love T.I.M.E. So we try to meet the need day in and day out. Life is messy. Each day is different, but we must keep the priorities in place.

Here are some practical thoughts (representative, but not exhaustive):

1). Read To Your Children (the report I’ve linked here is crucial). I am currently on book 4 Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Reading to Lily and Justin does not happen every night, but it occurs regularly! Remember, learning begins at birth, and it is important for children to be engaged in storytelling and interacting with the written word through books at a young age. By the age of three, children from wealthier families have heard about 30 million more words than children from lower-income families. For children entering kindergarten, 34 percent lack the basic language skills needed to learn how to read. By the time children from low-income families enter grade school, their ability to read is already an issue.

2). Find Hobbies with your Children (that do not involve screens!). During the lock-down, I have had to learn video editing. I did not enjoy learning video editing. I have a whole new appreciation for media editors. This is not my calling. I have no interest in video editing; however, my son (Justin, age 8) wanted to create a YouTube channel because he loves to share legos he builds, especially the more challenging lego builds. When Justin asked me to film him and edit the videos, the answer was yes. Then I had to learn how to edit and produce videos!

3). Be available. Children start taking at the most inconvenient moments. Have you noticed? It is never “the right time.” I recently finished writing my 10th book (64K+ words). Once upon a time, I asked the children to leave my office when I was writing previous books. I have not made that mistake in five years, but I learned from it. That is the point. Parenting is not perfect. We learn. We move forward. We can always improve. We need to be more available.

Yours, as ever

Jeremiah J. Johnston, Ph.D.

Christian Thinkers Society

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