Ancient History, Church, Elder Rule, General, History, Ministry Connections

All in the Family?

A couple of days ago, I wrote a blog on Commodus, the Roman emperor who inherited his rule from his father Marcus Aurelius. My original intention had been to write about choosing people who are qualified rather than people you are close to but somehow I got sidetracked.

This entry from Out of Ur got me thinking about that topic again.

I know a lot of pastors who have family members on staff at their churches. I am somewhat ambivalent about it. I love my wife, and for awhile she was our volunteer music director when the church was a little smaller; but whenever someone asks me if we should hire her in a paid role, I tell them no.


Because we should be hiring and selecting the most qualified people and we need to set aside existing relationships in favor of what will accomplish Jesus’ mission most effectively. In some cases, that is a family member but not always.

But even when a family member is the most qualified, they may not be the best fit. In the case of a congregation like Crystal Cathedral in the article, it is possible that the most qualified person was actually Robert A. Schuller, but he did not fit with what the leaders wanted. They wanted him to be his father, and he is not.

I love my family, which is why I keep them at a distance from what I do for a living. The only thing harder than pastoring family is often trying to work with them. That’s just my personal opinion, and has absolutely no Scriptural or theological basis. But for me, I find it is the best course.

How about you? What do you think?

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