Growing Pains

The family was small. Mom and dad had two kids and it didn’t look like the sedan would be traded in for a minivan anytime soon. Mom and dad loved their two kids. They never missed a recital or a ballgame. Being together was a priority; so was supporting one another. The home was as orderly as a home could be. Everyone was happy.

Then something unexpected happened. Mom got pregnant. They had been trying for some time, wanting a bigger family but until then God had said no. So it was a bit of a surprise but everyone was thrilled with the new addition. Then mom got pregnant again and not long after that birth they were announcing another pregnancy; only this time it was twins. The family of four was about to become a family of eight. Bedrooms were doubled up and the family room was remodeled to make room for another sofa. Everybody was “all in”; excited for the new little ones.

Then came a few hiccups. Mom and dad had never missed one of the older kid’s events. Nevertheless, when one of the younger ones got sick, mom missed the oldest daughter’s choir concert. Then the next week dad missed the oldest son’s home opener because the twins had their one year check-up. Mom would have taken them but she was still needed at home—one child was better but had given the bug to the sibling.

The sedan was traded in for a minivan and not long after the minivan was traded in for a 12-passenger. The older kids put on a happy face when they were dropped off for school but mom and dad knew the “white bus,” as the kids called it, didn’t score well on the cool-factor. Mom and dad seemed much busier, too; and at times more tired. The older kids were asked to do more. As time went on, they felt less like kids and more like assistant parents.

The older kids loved the new additions to their family; that was undeniable. It’s just that from time to time, in a moment of reflection, they thought back to the early days when it was just the four of them. Those were fond memories of fond times. But family life was different now. They all were still trying to get used to that.

In four years, our church has grown by over fifty-percent. The little church isn’t so little anymore. The almost-weekly new additions are a welcome sight. Our voice is getting louder. Lord willing, so is our footprint in the community. For all of this we are grateful.

I’ve always believed it is healthy for a pastor to feel somewhat overwhelmed. Dependence upon God is a much better place to be than self-confidence. However, I do feel like the dad in our story that went from two kids to six and no longer could engage in all the details of his children as he once did. I know I have missed some “concerts” and “ballgames” that in the early years I wouldn’t have missed. I haven’t heard anyone complain, but I know expectations and adjustments are being made at your end, as well.

But do know I still love the older kids just as much as I always have. I may not have the time to tell you that as much as I like (or you like). But I do. Our family is growing. And as a result, we all are.

Pastor Rich Hamlin

April 9, 2015


  1. Pastor Rich, how exciting that the church is growing!!!! We are thrilled for all of you!

    Glenda Alley

  2. “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
    Isn’t it a delight to be able to witness and participate in what God does when His people – the Church, Christ’s disciples today – apply to their daily lives the principles outlined in Acts 2:42-47?!
    – Devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
    – Being together and having everything in common.
    – Giving to one another as each has need.
    – Continuing to meet together in the temple courts.
    – Breaking bread in their homes, eating together with glad and sincere hearts.
    – Praising God!
    Thank You, Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), for ALL You are doing around the world today to grow the church, the body of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

“Amending the Soil” Christian Education Conference

Register or volunteer for Bible Day Camp now