The car ride home after a night of ministry can be a rollercoaster of emotions. You feel pumped and excited because of the life change that occurred that evening. The music was spiritually uplifting, your message flowed and you hit every point. You feel great and then you walk into a dark house, everyone is asleep and your reminded of a tension that thousands of youth pastors feel on a regular basis.
Balancing home and work life is a challenge. Doesn’t matter how long you are in ministry it’s going to wear on you and sometimes burn you out. To last in ministry you need to make sure that you embrace solid principles and create clear boundaries. To balance home and work make sure:
COMMUNICATION IS CLEAR BETWEEN ALL PARTIES
When communication is clear you allow trust to grow in your relationships. You, your spouse and your pastor need to be on the same page. That means:
- Leaning into conflict early
- Writing out your calendar and sharing your schedule
- Setting expectations and revisiting them together
Keeping communication flowing is a lot of work, but not nearly as complicated as repairing broken trust. Invest in those relationships and be 100% clear and you should avoid uneccesarry pitfalls.
YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP YOU ESCAPE
Accountability is key to a healthy marriage and a healthy work life. You need people who are looking in from the outside that can challenge you to step up and hear you out when life gets rough. Make sure the people you surround yourself with aren’t there to tell you want you want to hear but what you need to hear. They will be something solid to lean on when ministry and marriage get rough.
HUMILITY IS A KEY WORD IN YOUR VOCABULARY
I’ve found the most difficult periods of balancing ministry and marriage is when I make it all about me. When there is a gap and I feel owed resentment starts to build and what needs to be done becomes unclear.
Being a successful leader, whether in marriage or ministry, is all about loving others, serving them and asking the question, “What can I do for you?” When you are humble you will be rewarded.
YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS A PRIORITY
Life is a grind and to do it on your own effort is impossible. If your spiritual life is not a priority everything else will be a mess. You need to make sure you are carving time out to be with God, and to grow in His word. If that means spending a little money to go on a retreat, or meet with a spiritual coach then it’s worth it.
To work in ministry and have a family is not impossible, in fact it’s highly rewarding. Your family will bless your ministry and your church will bless your family. You just need to make sure you are aware of the tension, address it by taking the right steps and continue to lean on God.
What are some of the best practices you’ve discovered for balancing marriage and ministry?