O. C. Marler

Possibly you have coined a new term, “preach-a-holic.” However, I don’t think its meaning will be too difficult to identify for those families involved in it.

Your situation reminds me of another preacher’s wife who seriously considered checking herself and her children into the hospital so they could get a visit from her husband. God doesn’t expect us to sacrifice our families for the sake of our ministries.

Here’s a basic rule of thumb: First, the pastor should take off one day a week, devoid of any church-related activities. Assuming that the pastor starts out his working day at approximately the time other workers do, he should begin winding down about 2:00 and should be home by 3:00 or 3:30. Remember: He is on call 24 hours a day. On his day off, he should not hunt something church-related to do because he feels guilty.

The preach-a-holic is addicted to his work; and much like drug abusers or alcoholics, he cannot be helped unless he wants to be. Perhaps we could say he is “hooked.”

The Bible tells an interesting story in 1 Kings 20 of the man who lost the prisoner he was guarding because he was “busy here and there.” We do not want to lose our own household because we were “busy here and there” saving someone else’s.

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