When a leader puts his family first, the community benefits. When a leader puts the community first, both his family and the community suffer. – John Maxwell – The Most Powerful 21 Minutes Of A Leader’s Day
There’s a song I’ve been hearing on the radio titled Dream Small.
The first couple of lyrics in this song are about “the mom who sings songs about the Lord and the dad who spends family time the worlds says he cannot afford – and these are the moments that change the world.” A person could argue either way if it’s good for a person to think about dreaming small – but I get the point. Sometimes, we can be so focused on the big thing in life, we never are content to enjoy.
Home and family must be a priority, because Maxwell is right, when that falls apart, everything else does too.
Scripture teaches ministry leaders this as well. In 1 Timothy 3, Paul urges ministry leaders to manage homes well, honor their spouse and help their kids grow in faith.
Home and ministry don’t have to be enemies, but the best way to ensure this is to make family time a priority. It helps the leader, the family and the church. A win-win.
Here are five ways to put a priority on your family today:
If we’re going to make family and home a priority, it requires planning ahead. “Stuff” will fill up the time you allow for it and ministry world to-do lists never end. So plan ahead to ensure you’re able to go home at the right time. Create breaks, vacations and finish lines on your calendar.
Mark It In Pen
A loving family will always be willing to adjust times and dates, but do your best to mark family time in ink. Of course, there are emergencies which may arise, but that shouldn’t be the norm. Mark your calendar in pen for the most important things – including time with your family.
A Free Morning
The day seems to have a way of “getting away from us.” If your schedule is flexible, try carving out some mornings to spend time at home here and there. If there is a snow day, holiday or some great summer day, reverse the schedule and open up space to hang out at home in the morning, then go to the office all afternoon. If the day’s work does get away from you, you will have already invested some meaningful time in the morning.
Families love traditions. Older kids may roll their eyes, but deep down, they still like it. What are some of your family traditions? Keep them going and maybe create a few new ones to add to it. A few of ours include: making homemade pizza the evening we set up our Christmas tree, naming our cars, honking as we drive across state lines on summer vacations, and sleeping in a tent at least once a year. Create a new tradition and see how long it lasts. If something starts and ends, that’s totally fine – just have fun. Tradition are meant to serve us, not the other way around.
Sometimes, we think too grandiose when it comes to putting a priority on home and family. We think we need a big trip, a huge schedule overhaul or a big plan. In reality, it’s the little things that make a difference. It’s often the simple walk or bike ride, the quiet evening, the movie night, a free gift you bring home or other little things that have an impact. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy, but often and consistent.
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