Most children's ministers struggle with balancing family time
and ministry commitments. The veterans offer this advice.
- Know your priorities. There are boundaries between
work and family, but it's best not to work for anyone who tells you
that your family isn't your first priority. Family, especially
children, sometimes must be included in work-related situations.
The leader who understands that automatically becomes part of your
extended family and is someone you'd be willing to take on extra
tasks for in the future.
- Make time for family. "If it weren't for my family
supporting me in what I do, it would be almost impossible for me to
do the everyday things I do," says children's minister Bonnie
Gallegos. Always set aside family time. And as with time off, don't
let anything except true emergencies usurp this time. Have dinner,
play games, or just take time to talk.
- Don't forget: You have a life. Remember -- you're a
spouse, parent, child, friend, and individual before you're a
Anyone involved in children's ministry can attest that being busy
is a way of life and that the unexpected is the norm. All this
means that "leisure time" probably isn't in your vocabulary. So how
do the veterans keep stress from taking over?
- Trust God. Keep faith in God that he'll continue to
lead you in the right direction. Pray often. Keep a constant
dialogue going with God.
- Accept mistakes -- then move on. Have faith in
yourself that you learn from mistakes. Don't allow yourself to be
derailed by a mistake. And don't be too hard on yourself. Keep
- Get support. Rely on at least two peers you can count
on who'll be there for you in times of stress, even if only by
phone. Surround yourself with people who are in line with your
beliefs, values, and faith.
By following these tips, you'll be making strides toward
lowering the level of stress in your life.
Lesleigh Keetch is a freelance writer in Durango,
This article is excerpted from Children's Ministry Magazine.
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