Post by Mike Miller on Dec 9, 2019 10:57:04 GMT -5
Howdy! I'm glad you asked. I am and have been very intentional about protecting time with my family. Since ministry is not a 9-5 job, I have felt it important to discuss ground rules with search committees before going into any ministry position, and I have been blessed to serve churches that believed in promoting a healthy family life for the pastor. So, here are some things I do:
-Take a day off each week, and make sure everyone knows it. Unless it's an emergency, I don't schedule meetings or respond to minor ministry needs on that day. I spend time with my wife (and with my kids when they were home). -Build flexibility into your work week. If you have meetings and other church-related obligations during the evenings, make sure your church allows you to take extra time off without it counting against vacation days. Use that time to attend school functions or other special events. -Take every single vacation day your church offers. -Don't answer the phone when you are having intentional family time (like playing with your kids or eating dinner with your family). You can respond to the call later. Let you family know they are the priority. -Make sure your spouse shares your calling. If not, some of the demands of ministry will be too much for your marriage to handle. -Involve your wife and kids in ministry with you. I used to take my kids on visits with me. My wife still makes hospital visits with me. Of course, not all visits are appropriate for the family, but many are. Also, do ministry activities your whole family can participate in. -You must develop the attitude that not every task will be completed. Someone once asked me how I got everything done if I take a day off. My response? "I don't." I make sure to do all the things that must be done, but I have learned to discern what is urgent and/or necessary from what is not. You cannot do it all, and it's ok. You aren't God. -Date your wife regularly. This doesn't have to cost a lot of money. Just make sure you spend time together.
I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any follow-up questions.