October 20, 2015 PhilBell

A New Vision For Balancing Family & Ministry

Balancing family and ministryEvery time we say “yes” to something will always mean that we are saying “no” to something else. For those of us in ministry, it’s often easiest to say “no” to our family. They understand better, right? But, fast forward a few years and your spouse (if you are married), and your kids, (if you have any), will likely resent you (and the church) for always “cheating” on them.

In my previous post I wrote about 8 Signs of an Unhealthy Youth & Children’s Ministry Worker. It’s possible you read that post and walked away feeling convicted of the need to find a healthy balance for yourself and your family? But it’s also possible you were looking for answers of where to begin? Before we find answers, let’s face a reality:

Balancing family and ministry is often like trying to hit a moving target.

My family AND ministry is constantly changing. Just when I think I have it figured out, it changes again… Know the feeling? With so many different seasons of family and ministry, it’s like trying to balance a pile of rocks on a moving surface…

It Begins with Vision! 

The task of  balancing family and ministry is simplified when we seek God to create a compelling vision for family and ministry

AND

While many of us have a vision statement for our own ministries, how many of us have taken time to ensure we are seeking a God-given vision for our own family?

Even though balancing family and ministry is a constant moving target, it is a compelling vision for family and ministry that will help us keep taking the steps towards balance. Healthy balance typically follows closely to a God-given vision. Or to put it another way:

The balancing point for family and ministry is often found closely to a God-given vision

So, where can we start?

  1. Understand what vision is: Simply put, vision is a picture of a hoped for future.
  2. Craft a new vision for you and your family. What words or phrases do you want to describe yourself and your family a year, five years, or ten years from now? Sit down with your family and seek God to create a vision statement for family and ministry. Know that this process will require a lot of prayer and discussion and is not something that can be created quickly, (but it’s well worth it).
  3. Set goals that support your vision: What goals do you want to attain for you and your family? Under that vision statement, what are some specific goals you have yourself and your family. Do the goals support your vision, or do they just add to the busyness?
  4. Think about the steps that are needed: What steps do you need to take to attain your vision and goals?
  5. Create a timeline and schedule: When will you make time for these steps? Saying “yes” to everything will mean you say “no” to many essentials. What do you need to ruthlessly clear in your family schedule? What needs to be replaced?
  6. Who will hold you accountable? This is key! Who knows you well enough to hold your task while also holding your hand a little? If you have a mentor or friend in ministry who understands the unique challenges, ask them to hold you accountable.

In my next post, I will take a look at some foundational habits we can strive for (with God’s help), to help us support a vision for healthy family and ministry. 

Phil <><

photo credit: Stone pile via photopin (license)

About the Author

PhilBell Phil Bell is a Family Ministry pastor with over 15 years of experience ministering to families. He holds a Masters in Christian Ministry and is a national speaker, columnist, author, and blogger. He’s passionate about investing in families and equipping parents to reach the next generation for Christ. He’s originally from England and now lives in Raleigh, NC, with his wife Lisa and their three beautiful kids.