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Sunday Morning Take-Off

Sunday Mornings are as busy as you might expect for a Children’s Pastor that is responsible for three services at church. One of the ways that I get a head start on what can be a long day is to get up and out of the house as early as possible. My wife rises much later and dresses the kids (after I’ve ironed their clothes the night before…), and meets me for the 8:30am service.

A few weeks ago I told my oldest son, Ryan, that if he got himself out of bed early and dressed himself that I would take him with me on a Sunday morning. Two weeks have passed without another word being said about it. Then yesterday morning I come out of my bedroom before 7:00am to see my two boys frantically trying to put on their church clothes. It seems they got up and got entirely dressed for church, but failed to realize that their church clothes were laid out in the living room. So they were changing out of their OU Sooner jerseys and soccer shorts to put on the new clothes. They looked at me so disappointed, like I wouldn’t take them since they weren’t ready. Of course I helped them get ready, and before the sun came up my boys and I headed to church.

These kids are 6 and 4 years of age, and the thought they they went to all that trouble just to spend some early morning Daddy time with me has totally blown me away. I can’t stop thinking about how disappointed they were that they weren’t ready, and started to tear up that I would just leave them there because they were not totally dressed. I’m sure I could come up with some super-spiritual point, but I’m not. I just wanted to say that I sure love these boys of mine, and I might have never been prouder they were mine.

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Kenny · September 22, 2008

    I’m sure there is a significant spiritual point there somewhere… but regardless it is a precious scene.

    Thanks for the post. I look forward to having these same kind of moments with my son (and future children… not an announcement).

  2. Cash Clan Japan · September 23, 2008

    Okay, seriously choked up in Japan.

    The Lord seriously ministered to me with your story–I’ve been thinking about this all day. So often, I feel like I’m not doing enough to get into His presence, or like I’m just not doing it quite right or something. I blame this partly on my Southern Baptist upbringing, no offense to any SBs out there. In my current life situation, I don’t have the luxury of formulaic quiet times and bible studies most of the time–it’s quite a lot more thrown together in this particular season of my life. A little here, a little there, wherever I can get it. But you just reminded me that my Father sees my paltry efforts to be with Him, and loves me and takes great joy in me.

    Thank you.

  3. Starr · September 23, 2008

    Lisa – Thanks for your comment. It put into words how this post made me feel. Starr