Pastors and Family Life

This was put out by the Gospel Coalition in 2007. Tim Keller answers the question: “What do you tell pastors about their family life?” You have probably heard it all before, but these are wise words and well worth repeating.

(Video length: 1:43)

I don’t really know of any minister that gets to the tenth or the twentieth year that doesn’t wish they had spent more time with their family. I don’t know of anybody. In fact my wife likes to say: No minister on his death bed said, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.” Or … even, “I wish I had spent more time in ministry.” This is very hard to imagine, ministers on their death bed feeling like that. They almost always will say, “I wish I had spent more time with God, one on one, and I wish I had spent more time with my children and my wife.” … It’s so obvious as soon as you think about it … you know what you’re going to regret, so why don’t you try to diminish those regrets right now …

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that there is no way for that to happen easily, and people are going to get mad at you if you do it right. And Jesus says, “Beware when all men speak well of you.” So … balls are going to drop and people are going to be angry at you, but guess what, balls are going to drop and people are going to be angry at you anyway, and then you’ll be prayerless and you won’t have a strong family. So you might as well have a strong relationship with God and a strong family and have people mad at you, because they’re going to be mad at you anyway.


  1. John Ayan says:

    Well, I can truly say what this gentleman has said can be, and probably is, true of all occupations, not just ministers. I can also say that the older you get and you see friends and people in general dying, and they’re either slightly older than you or just a wee bit behind you, you think about time wasted during your life. I’ve prayed that I won’t have any regrets when it gets to be my time. I don’t know that that is possible.

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    John – I agree, these are good words for people in all occupations. God and family come first.

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