What would it look like if Dads were the pastors of their home? What would our families look like if Dads saw their vocation as father as crucial to the life of their kids and spouse? What if dads saw themselves as the primary shepherd in their home? It is often easy to see the job of pastoring and shepherding as the job of the professionals, but for the dad the pastoring in their home is primarily their responsibility.
In Luther’s small catechism, it actually begins with the words:
“As the head of the family should teach the household.”
Pastor dads are teachers.
When Jesus gives the command to go and make disciples, which includes our living rooms, he also gives instructions on how this is to happen. By baptizing and teaching. As dads pastor their children, the call is to be a teacher to them. As dads, we teach our kids how to follow Jesus. We teach our kids about the commands, about the scriptures, about Christ. And we teach our children how to live like Jesus.
We teach as we instruct through our words. And we teach as we model a Christian life.
We talk about forgiveness. And we show forgiveness. We teach about promises. And we show promises. We teach about sharing our faith. And we actually share our faith.
Pastor dads are shepherds.
A friend of mine describes the word pastor by pointing out how strange it is. “Sounds so archaic. Unsophisticated. Definitely not as impressive as ‘Chief Executive Officer.’” Pastors are shepherds. A shepherd cares for, protects, feeds, and watches over his flock. And while the dad of the home certainly might have to make sure business is in order, the budget is balanced, and the family is sticking to their mission - the dad is also a pastor. Shepherding his little flock.
"Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God.” - 1 Peter 5:2
As dads, the first flock that we’ve been given is our own families. And pastoring our family means feeding them spiritually, caring for them spiritually, and shooting the wolves who come to attack.
Pastor dads are leaders.
As dads teach and shepherd, they also lead. Dads lead their homes. They set the pace, the direction, and the vision of the home. Some have even taken this as far as creating a family mission statement. Whatever it looks like, the pastor dad has to be a leader. Because as we make disciples in our family, we do so by being the lead follower. We lead as we follow. We give direction as we follow direction. We are imitators and call those who follow us to imitate us.
Note: I borrowed the title of this post from a Mark Driscoll eBook by the same title.