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I have a beautiful wife, an infant son & a schnauzer. viva la tex-mex. Words that describe or excite: Missional, Glocal, Lead, Innovate, Initiate, Create, Risk, Community

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"I have to be perfect..." and 8 other ministry family heresies.

In doing some spring cleaning I came across a great little book and I felt a strong desire to share with my fellow compatriots in ministry and parenting. Timothy L. Sanford, M.A. (and MK, missionary kid, for the uninitiated) wrote a helpful and healing book called I Have to Be Perfect (and Other Parsonage Heresies): The Preachers Kids Manual of the Holy Heresies You May Have Grown Up With and How to Find Your Way Back to the Truth.

Now that is a mouthful but let me tell you being a pastor myself and also being married to a PK this book is great on two levels. First it brought some needed clarification in my life and better understanding for me of my wife and where she has come from. Second it is a great warning and helpful guide in helping me be a better father to Elijah and husband to Becky. After all my greater calling is to them as my family over and above my calling to the church. An added bonus is that when we served in Colorado we actually went to a conference lead by Timothy L. Sanford at Horn Creek specifically for PK/MK's over this topic.

Without sharing more than she would like or more than you need to know, Becky and her family did not have an overall enjoyable experience during her dad's years in ministry and there is family baggage to prove it. But this book's insights are worth sharing and contemplating, for discussion and expounding.

I want to share the myth's Tim points out and leave it at that for now. We will see if this generates a need for more from the book down the road.

The Four Holy Heresies about Myself:
1. I have to be perfect
2. I should already know
3. I am here for others
4. I'm different

The Four Holy Heresies about the World:
1. I can't trust anyone
2. I can ruin my dad's ministry
3. Other people's needs are more important than my own
4. I am damned if I do and damned if I don't

The Holy Heresy about God:
1. God is disappointed with me

Ask yourself as a parent in ministry do you allow yourself, other staff members, or church members to perpetuate any of these myths to your spouse or children? What do you do as a parent in ministry to put your family above your job? To protect them from neglect or misguided ministry principles?

To end I would like to make a note that the book is not bitter, nor does the author have an ax to grind. The book is informative, consoling, and embraces forgiveness as a means of transformation and restoration for those who feel abused or hurt by "growing up in the ministry."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved that book. I'm a PK. 3 Cheers for the author. Why is it that a book like this goes out of print? I need it for my fellow PK's.