Note: This article has been excerpted from the SmallGroups.com training tool called Family Friendly Small Groups.
When I speak at conferences or seminars, I ask people to write down the areas of ministry they are involved in and then prioritize them. Sadly, the majority of people never list one of the most important ministries entrusted to them by their Heavenly Father: their own family. It's the ministry of raising our sons and daughters (and even grandchildren) as children of the most-high God.
Two sources of tension
So many parents and spouses feel pulled between the needs of their family and the needs of their small group. But if God ordained us to lead a small group, he gave it as a gift to our families. There is nothing given by God that will damage our children and families—no anointing, no position, and no ministry. He never intended there to be competition between the two. They are a gift, one to the other.
Why, then, do we so struggle with this tension? Why do we so often feel pulled in different directions? I believe there are two main causes. The first is a lack of application of God's Word. We are commanded to pass our faith on to our family (Psalm 78:1–8). This cannot be sidelined for other ministries. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, "The secret things belong to God; the things revealed belong to you and to your children." Your ministry is "a thing revealed," and it belongs to you and your children.
The second reason I see for the tension between ministry and family is the lack of training and skills given to parents—skills that enable both the small-group ministry and the family to be blessed and run in harmony.
A better way
Let me give an example that you ...