My Great Grandfather was a preacher. My Dad is a preacher. My Uncle is a preacher. My Brother is a preacher. My cousin is on a church staff. I am on a church staff. That means a lot of kids in our family have ministry staff parents.
I was asked the other day by a copier salesman (who was calling the church to sell me paper), “What was it like growing up as the son of Joel Hunter”? Yes, it was an odd question considering I didn’t want to buy any copy supplies. I asked what he meant by his question and told him I’d be glad to answer if I knew what he was in search of. He said, “I am a part time pastor of a small congregation and I sell copiers to put food on the table. I have two young kids and have always looked up to your dad as an example of the kind of pastor I would like to be. I see from a distance that you and your brothers turned out well and I want to know what it was about your parents that made you want to be close to God as adults.”
Fair question. Here is my answer:
“It was easy being his son. Dad was a preacher just like my friend’s dad was a stockbroker…he never made a deal of his chosen profession. Yes, my parents were disciplined and “strict”, but not militant or overbearing. The rules we had at home were in place there so that we would become better men. Here is why I am close to God now…the more I understand about my dad, the more Christ I see in him. Most people get uglier as your get to know them deeper. Their best self is what you see first. Both of my parents get more amazing as you get to know them. Seeing that consistency in their lives as they walked what they talked allowed me to chose this path easily.”
It made me think about what I want to be for my kids. As they grow up with the church as a part of their everyday lives, I want it to be a blessing. I want it to build a consistent picture of a deeper more genuine relationship with Christ as they match how we love them with what Jesus taught. There is nothing more important. I learned that from talking to a copier salesman.