Redeem the time on Father’s Day

June 18, 2020

As I sat there, holding my empty mason jar, tears flowed down my face and splashed into the bottom of the hollow cavity that was once filled with such hope and innocent dreams. My little boy was now a man.

A mason jar, you see, holds exactly 936 pennies — one penny for each week of our child’s life from birth through age 18. Unfortunately, I learned this only after he was gone and out on his own.

On baby dedication Sunday at the church I pastor, I challenge new parents to make each week and every moment count. I give parents a jar with 936 pennies and ask them to remove a penny per week and, figuratively, invest it wisely until all the pennies are gone, as mine are now.

As I reflect on my own parenting journey, it seems like only yesterday that my wife, Tiffany, and I brought home our first son to his Noah’s ark-themed nursery. Now, he was moving into his college dorm. Where did the time go? How could those years be just a memory now? How did I invest those pennies?

The moment the finality of my son’s childhood actually became a reality to me was as I perused our church bulletin and saw that the “college student of the week” was my little boy, with his own (grown-up) address. He no longer lived in my home, he no longer fit in my arms and he no longer needed me like he once did. There was his new address, in black and white, smudged now by the steady flow of tears running down the page. I could hardly breathe!

Our number one ministry is not at God’s house, but in our house.

As we prepare for Father’s Day, I would like to offer a challenge to dads and husbands who want to be a godly example in their homes. This challenge stems more from my own failures than from my successes, but my challenge is simple — redeem the time!

Redeeming the time means making the most of the journey and making each day count. Don’t discount the value of a single penny or moment that you have with your family. God blessed our home with three more children through the years – two more boys, Brooks and Jay, and a baby girl, Leah. I see each of my children with their own jars being half empty (or half full, depending on your perspective). I have determined to appreciate each day with them — to laugh more, to live more and to love more — because the pennies are running out.

I have discovered the reality that life truly is like a vapor — fleeting, fading, temporal and precious! The days between the many “firsts” and the many “lasts” go by in an instant. How can it be that the days in between all happen so fast?

The days in between those “firsts” and “lasts” are the days we must redeem. Those are the days of great investment that dads must never neglect. I must admit that there were times when I just wanted to go home rather than sit through another Tuesday night baseball game, but now I long for another game to watch. I cannot even drive by the local ball field without tearing up. How I miss those days!

So, dads, whether your jar is full or empty, or somewhere in between, may I challenge you to invest each penny wisely and passionately by training up your children in the Lord. In obedience to Scripture, never provoke your children to wrath. Be the head of your home and an example of godliness to your family. Love your wife as Christ loves His church. Do not just speak of the things of God, but live them out each day. Concentrate as much on discipleship as you do discipline. Commit to “doing right” rather than just “being right.” Show your children what a biblical marriage looks like. Be the kind of father and husband that God instructs you to be.

In Latin class many years ago, I learned that “carpe diem” means “seize the day.” Men, it’s time we value our families above anything else — above our hobbies, our sports, our careers, our possessions and, yes, even our ministries. Our number one ministry is not at God’s house, but in our house. Our churches will get another pastor or deacon or teacher one day, but we are the only father our kids will ever have.

Redeem the time. You’ll be glad you did.


by Cameron McGill  
/  Lead Pastor  / The Lake Church, White Lake, N.C.

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!