This is part of a blog series that has 30 practical tips for the pastor looking to start or restart well. You can get the entire series as a Kindle book. The landing page will be updated with each new post.
In my first paid ministry we had people in our home after one of our first Sundays. We put out snacks, turned a football game on and let people walk around our sparsely furnished home. It was one of our better bad ideas.
About 10 minutes before people showed up my wife dropped a big bowl of pretzels. We made eye contact and I said, “laugh or cry babe, laugh or cry.” It was one of those moments in our marriage we both refer back to because we were so overwhelmed with things and had no idea what we were doing, but having people in our home felt right.
Four years later as we were saying goodbye I had a couple tell us how nice it was to be invited over in those first few weeks. And I am confident it had nothing to do with pretzels. We didn’t know what to do or what to say; we just knew it was important to share our home.
As a youth pastor it was also important for us to have students over to model what a (mostly) healthy marriage and home environment looked like.
Sometimes I think we get so wrapped up in what we are going to say, play, or plan that we forget that some of the most important things we do have to do with the example we set.