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Elliot Grudem on Balancing Marriage & Family

Elliot Grudem is pastor of Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has been married for fourteen years. Last week Scott Thomas was in Raleigh and spent some time with Elliot, asking him about the pastor’s challenge of balancing ministry and family.

In this video:

How has ministry affected your family life?

Ministry is not really to blame for its negative effect on the family; it’s truly due to personal sin.

  1. There’s always ministry to do
  2. The pastor can tend to overvalue his role in ministry
  3. Pressures and expectations from the congregation can be unrealistic – and the pastor is tempted to give in to demands rather than spend time with his family

Ultimately, when the pastor’s family and ministry are at odds and the family is suffering, this negative effect is rooted in a lack of faith in God by the pastor. Elliot says,  

“If God has commanded me to love my family and work rest into my schedule, then not doing that represents a lack of trust in Him. It also represents over-trust in my abilities and my involvement in His good, kingdom-advancing, Church-building activity… Even now I sometimes struggle with the ideas that Christ will build His church (and therefore I don’t need to give myself in an unhealthy way to the building of the Church) and that God doesn’t sleep (and therefore I don’t need to ignore sleep). I’m not God, and that’s OK.”

In this video, Elliot also discusses:

  1. Challenges he’s experienced in his 14 years of marriage
  2. Training your congregation to have healthy expectations of their pastor, as well as modeling health in work and family balance
  3. How he prepares himself to come home to his family after work
  4. How he schedules and guards his family time



Chris Donato

on Apr 28, 2010 :: 12:29 pm

Very helpful stuff here, Elliot. Well said on all counts (especially that bit about keeping one's wife in the loop).


Elliot Grudem is the network coordinator for the Acts 29 Network and a pastor at Mars Hill Church. Prior to his work with Acts 29, Elliot served as the senior minister at Christ the King Presbyterian Church, a church he replanted in Raleigh, NC. He has worked for an urban ministry in New Orleans. He worked for a Fortune 100 company prior to seminary. He is the editor of Christian Beliefs, a book he completed with his father Wayne. Elliot holds degrees from Miami Univeristy (BA, History and English) and Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div.).