Earl_ferguson_1I spent a good part of Father’s Day with my Dad this past Sunday – first, watching my son Josh’s baseball game (which they won 19-16 and he got the game ball!), and then hanging out at his house.  Hanging out reminded me of what a terrific job he has done in being both a Dad and Pastor – two roles that sometimes compete and often conflict.  So this list is a thank you to my Dad; some encouragement to fathers out there and some ideas for those of us that are both fathers and pastors.  Here are four things my Dad did right as a pastor:

  1. HE PLAYED CATCH WITH ME.  Playing catch may not sound like a big deal.  But it made a lasting impression on me the day I walked into my Dad’s office and saw taped to his filing cabinet the outline of a daily schedule.  On that schedule was stuff like devotionals, meetings, sermon prep time, etc.  But at  the end of the afternoon it said, “5:00 pm – play catch with the boys”.  My Dad was busy.  He would tell you that sometimes he was too busy, but what I remember is that he always made time to play catch in the back yard; play basketball in the driveway – he made time for me.
  2. HE LOVED MY MOM MORE THAN ME.  There was never any doubt in our house who was Dad’s favorite – Mom!  He would often whisper to me, “think you will ever find a wife as good as I did?”  One of the best things my Dad did was loving my Mom and letting me know it.
  3. HE ALWAYS TALKED POSITIVE ABOUT THE CHURCH.  Growing up as a  pastors kid was a positive experience for me.  I grew up thinking it was a postive, not a negative to be the pastors kid.  I felt that way because I grew up in a terrific church.   But it wasn’t always terrific – couldn’t have been.  But my Dad loved and still loves the church and he made it a discipline to talk positive about the church.
  4. HE WAS THE SAME PERSON AT HOME AND AT CHURCH.  Dad was and is remarkably consistent.  When people would say, “Your Dad is such a loving man” or “Your Dad is a good leader”, I never thought, “oh, you should see him at home.”  No, he wasn’t perfect; I could tell some stories.  But he was the same guy at home that he was at church.

Thanks Dad!

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