I know I should never write this type of blog in May, right? Baseball games, graduations, concerts, recitals, parties and the list goes on and on. I truly believe that May has surpassed December as the busiest month of the year. Well I felt like that was the perfect time to speak to the elephant in our schedules – all of the activities I listed above.
This past Sunday at Rolling Hills Community Church we had our Senior Recognition Sunday. At our Franklin Campus a student shared how his life was changed by adding to this schedule – adding going to youth group! He hadn’t gone most of his high school career and when he did – his life was transformed.
Now don’t get me wrong – I love sports and music and all of the things. I was a music major in college, my wife and I played college sports and so did my 3 kids. I know travel ball, college recruiting and the whole 9 yards. I get it. I love it. I also know what it’s like to see my 3 kids walking with Jesus in their 20’s when so many sports kids that grow up in church walk away from the faith.
Here are 4 Ways to be a Godly Leader Even With Kid’s Crazy Activity Schedules:
#1 – MODEL FOR YOUR KIDS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT
Say what you will about the Babylon Bee, the social media meme machine. They are often very funny and right on. The one I saw this past week was a dad looking worried and the title said “Father Starting to Worry Church Could Interfere With Kid’s Travel Ball Schedule.” Then the subtitle said, “with practice seven nights a week and 43 tournaments in this summer, church just feels like a lot.” Again, pretty funny because…it’s way too accurate.
To combat these crazy schedules, we have to model for our kids what is most important. I hope and pray that for you that is faith first and family second. What does that look like? Well the Godly Leader knows that it is Essential that ball games don’t regularly take over for church, weddings, family gatherings, youth group, camp, etc. When our kids miss camp because of sports, it’s the 1 week a year that will transform their lives forever and it’s 1 of 14 weeks of sports and activities that summer. Stop and think – what message about what is important are you sending to your kids when that choice is made? Don’t miss church every weekend for activities. Find a church or watch online when you are out of town. Go late to a game on a Sunday morning or Wednesday night – it’s really ok.
100% of our kids will have a faith in something when they are in their college years and in their adult years. Our job as Godly Leaders and parents is to help it be following Jesus wholeheartedly. Less than 7% of high school athletes play in college. 2% play Division 1 in college. 0.00075% play in the pros in their sport. Real stats. Real perspective. Godly Leaders read this paragraph 5 times to let it all sink in.
At the end of the summer, what will your kids say is your most important value? Fun, Sports, Activity, Vacation or Faith? It’s a real question that needs a real answer. It’s not fun, sports, activities and vacation are not important and great – they are. What will they say is MOST important as they look back.
By the way – notice I said, “regular”. I’m not one that thinks that if you don’t go to church 52 weeks a year, you’re a heathen. But there is a reason that Hebrews 10:25 tells us to, “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
#2 – TALK TO THE COACHES
Yes, there are some crazy coaches out there. And, sometimes you don’t have any say on what team or group or school your kids goes to. BUT, that doesn’t mean you can’t stand up for your child and your faith. Before the season and along the way, let your coaches / teachers, etc. know the role of church and faith in you and your child’s lives and let them know there will be some times when you have to miss a game here or there.
One of my son’s baseball teams had a practice on Good Friday one year. Guess what, he was the only one picked up and taken to a Good Friday service and missed practice. My daughter’s national volleyball qualifier was moved to Easter weekend in Orlando. Guess what, I talked to the coach and other parents and 4 of us stood up and said we’re not going to do that on Easter. The tournament was moved. Before one season, I let the coach know that if my daughter made the team, she wouldn’t be able to play on Wednesday nights due to youth group. Guess what, they practiced on T and Th. This list goes on and on. I know you could argue this was 8-10 years ago and times are different, but they’re not that different. When you talk to your coaches as a Godly Leader, you are making an influence and a difference. Your child is watching, your spouse is watching, your coaches and watching and your team is watching. They might not like that Johnny or Jeannine are missing, but in the long run it will have a greater impact that anything that game was going to provide. You can say, “my coach won’t…”. Have you tried? Have you stepped out? If you have, maybe it’s not the right team for your child.
#3 – GET INVOLVED
I was never one to join the Booster Club just to help my kids get ahead. However, I would get involved in coaching or Booster Clubs to help be a voice in the process. Most of the time many people are thinking the same thing and they just need a Godly Leader to set the bar. “You know that may be too much for 10 year olds!” “When can we expect families to have some family and vacation time this summer?” “What if we did that locally in driving distance?”. Just being involved and being the voice of reason and faith can make a huge difference on your schedules.
#4 – DON’T WUSS OUT. YOUR CHILD’S FAITH FUTURE DEPENDS ON YOU
Can I say that? Being a Godly Leader is having the stones needed to stand up for what is right. You would say that loudly in a small group or in a Bible study or to your pastor. But when push comes to shove, stand for what is right and lasting. Don’t use lines like “you made a commitment to the team”. Yes, you did. You also made one to God. Or, “you need to be there for your teammates”. Yes, you do. But you can make an everlasting impact on your teammates and their families if you model what real faith looks like. Godly Leaders know that it is Essential that they model to an unbelieving world that their faith really DOES take first place in their lives.
I don’t want this blog to come across as a guilt trip…well, maybe a little. The main point is for you to hear from a voice that’s been there, that the faith in the future of your kids lives – in their teens, college, adult lives is shaped in large part by your Godly Leader priorities when they are under your roof. Use that time wisely, Godly Leader. It is Essential.
1 Corinthians 15:58, “Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”
We could talk a lot more on this topic, but we’ll leave it there for now. What are your thoughts or questions? Leave them in the comments. If you found this blog helpful or thought-provoking, please subscribe below to receive a new weekly blog in your email on Tuesday morning. Also, if you think this blog would be helpful for others, please share it on social media or tell a few friends about it!
Love being on this Essential Godly Leadership journey with you!
Essential Godly Leadership: “Leading your life, your family, your work, your relationships, and your world in a way that is seeking wisdom from, and pleasing to, the Lord Jesus.”