Balance in ministry is difficult. I have shared before that I am relearning how to be pastor in my new church. In Duncan, I had the luxury to be able to drop everything to visit a hospital or to be with a family whose love one passed away. I am learning now how do this in a mid sized church. My great struggle is that I want to be with people far more than my schedule will allow me to.
A few weeks back our church had 3 of our members sick in the hospital. On top of this all three were in 3 different hospitals. My goal as pastor is to visit every member in the hospital. What I am realizing is that some days it’s just not possible. I am struggling to balance time for spiritual growth, time for sermon preparation, time for administration and time for people.
I had a great idea, what if I woke up 2 hours earlier to study. It would free my day up to be able to spend time on sermons and the rest. I started waking up at 4:00 on regular days and 3:30 on the days I lead morning bible studies. For the first week it worked. I I had accomplished all I needed to do. The second week I noticed how I interacted with my family when I got home. I spent my time half asleep and half awake ignoring my family. I can’t keep up a 12+ hour work day every day.
One of my closest pastor friends from Duncan used to describe his work as feeding the monster. You feed it and feed it and at the end of the day it’s still hungry. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think this is a struggle of every pastor. No matter what you do, how much time you give, how much of your life you invest the church is still hungry.
For those of you who are in people centered professions, how do you balance your schedule? How do you make time for what the organization needs and what your people need? How do you save enough of yourself so that your family has time at the end of the day?