An Answer For Disobedient Children in Ministry

Answer For Disobedient Children In Ministry

National Association of Christian Ministers How to Series: Answers to Controversies #

Does a person have to quit ministry if their children are unruly?  

Should they not be permitted to serve if their homes are disrupted by disobedient kids?  

by Michael Mooney, NACM Evec. Elder

The answers to these questions exists in terms of how the word “unruly” is defined, and what part the minister plays in the child’s behavior.

  • How old are the children -are they adults?
  • Does the minister acknowledge or deny the disobedience of their children?
  • The NACM considers these factors when deciding the appointment of Elders.


1Ti 3:1-4 MKJV
(1) Faithful is the Word: If anyone reaches out to overseership, he desires a good work.
(2) Then it behooves the overseer to be without reproach, ….
(4) ruling his own house well, having children in subjection with all honor.


There is a level of historical consideration that needs to be added to this passage. In Biblical times there was no DSS, child rights, etc. If a child was disobedient to their parents, they were taken outside the camp and stoned.


Deu 21:18-21 ESV
(18) “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and, though they discipline him, will not listen to them,
(19) then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city at the gate of the place where he lives,
(20) and they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’
(21) Then all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

Surely this sent a grave message to all the other children of the Jews. Our circumstances are much different today, and the way we discipline our children is restricted by the law in ways that Biblical times would have never imagined. In light of these things, your adult children are not even an issue. They are now adults and are not under your rule.


Conclusion: Elders should rule over their homes by disciplining their children. Beyond that, there is not much more they can do. However, if they refuse to temper their children by making excuses for them and pretending that they do no wrong, this may be grounds for not meeting the qualifications.