I am a pastor. Which is, like, a professional Christian. I get paid to read the Bible, to have coffee with people, to talk about Jesus. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty rad. So while Kayla writes about living the Kingdom at home (so good, right?!) I’m usually at the church, living the Kingdom there.
Which is what I get paid to do.
Which is kind of weird.
See, what can happen when you’re a pastor is that faith can begin to meld with work. Kingdom melds with career. When you get paid to talk about Jesus, the lines tend to blur between when you’re “on” and “off” duty. I love the Kingdom of God, but is that because the Kingdom pays the bills?
So today I was off duty. Youth group tonight means half day at the office. Kayla’s got some freelance work, which means I go full stay-at-home-daddy. No members of my congregation watching. No unexpected calls from the church. Just me and my boys.
Not Pastor Daddy, just Daddy.
And that’s really where the Kingdom rubber meets the real world road. When I’m loading and unloading the dishwasher, or helping Joseph with some water colors, or feeding Asher some green bean baby food (which looks disgusting but he seems to love it), am I still living the Kingdom? When there’s no paychecks on the line, am I still doing God’s work?
I feel the tension that it’s always easier for a pastor to talk about something than it is for “real” people to do those things. Pastors, after all, live in the church world, while everybody else lives in the “real” world. I can talk all day about living the Kingdom at work, but there can always be the criticism that it’s easier for me than for you. I’m a pastor, you’re a plumber. I’m surrounded by Bibles, you’re surrounded by… well… you get the idea. But even pastors go home. And unless a pastor has a really crazy church, there’s no cameras at home watching what we do. So maybe it’s easier for me to live the Kingdom at work, but we all have the same struggles at home.
Standing up in front of people and teaching can feel transcendent. Successfully planning and implementing new ministries gives an amazing high. But every pastor knows that Kingdom stuff isn’t all flashy. Teaching takes quiet time studying. New ministries take hours of administrative work to create. Raising these two boys to love Jesus won’t be all about epic soliloquies and sitcom-esque teaching moments. It will be about breaking up a banana and cleaning spit up, changing a few diapers and playing with cars. That’s a reality for all parents, pastor or plumber. That’s a tension we all have to live in. Will I do the little things well to make the big things happen? Will I live a Kingdom life even when nobody’s watching?
Whether I’m reading the Bible with my boys or switching a load of laundry, I want to do it because that’s what Kingdom work is, not because I have some sort of pastoral duty to be a good Christian. I want to go into half-day-stay-at-home-dad-mode not because I need to balance my work time, but because Kingdom time begins at home. Home is the great equalizer. And if I’m not living the Kingdom at home, I shouldn’t be trusted to live it at church.
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