Kia Ora friends! Today I’m sharing part two in a continuous series of balancing ministry life with work life and family life. And as a wee treat for you, today you get to hear from my hubby! He’ll be sharing all about what it’s like for him working full-time plus carrying the load of Youth Ministry as a volunteer. Welcome, Charles!
“Hi, I am Charles, and I am the other half of Tansquared Youth Ministry. I am a full time Registered Nurse and work 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. I am a youth leader/pastor of an amazing group of students along side Hannah, as you may already know. I also serve on the Multimedia team and as a youth leader at church on a Sunday once a month each.
Tell us a little about what balancing full-time ministry with a full-time job looks like for your family.
Let us look at what a typical week looks like for me. I work 5 days a week as a Nurse. I also have a connect/small group night. At least one night a month I attend the worship practice to do Multimedia stuff. And then we have our regular Youth nights during the school term. Saturdays are generally free, and tend towards being family days as much as possible. Sunday mornings are busy, and at least two Sunday afternoons a month we have Discipleship (D group) meetings, one with our student leaders, and the other with our adult leaders. This does not include the other church or youth meetings/events we attend as leaders during the year. This also doesn’t include meeting up with each of the boy student leaders at least once a term. Thankfully Hannah does most if not all of the administration for Youth, if not I would be flat out during my every waking hour. As Hannah has mentioned in one of her posts, it is important to schedule family time, and we do our best to do it. Also when it is holidays and I am on annual leave from nursing, I set a rule that we aren’t allowed to talk about any youth stuff for some of the days.. Just so that we all can have a break.
What was your biggest challenge initially and how did you find a resolution?
Biggest challenge is getting enough time to spend time with God, my family, dating my wife and also just getting some me time [being an introvert]. Significant ministry can only come out of significant relationship with God, so it is a huge priority in all our lives to make time to seek and hang out with God. When you marry someone, you make a covenant, and it is a covenant that you have to keep working at everyday. Once you start a family and have children, you also have an added responsibility to raise your children in the ways of God. Finally we all have to take care of ourselves too, if not how are we going to take care of others if you are not functioning properly in the first place?
So balancing your time is very important. Five years ago, I made a comittment to read the Bible in a year, and now am starting my sixth year in my sixth version of the Bible. The Bible is the word of God and reading it is listening to God. I can definitely say that if I had not made that commitment five years ago, we would have fallen on our faces a long time ago.
Spending time with Hannah and our wee boy is also important. So we make sure to schedule some family time every week, where we just go and do something together and not be busy doing Youth stuff. As a husband or a wife, we all have to remember to spend sometime dating each other too. We get to go out on proper dates maybe once a month, so I as a husband make sure to try and suprise my wife with a nice gift occasionally. A simple bouquet of flowers is more than enough, but remember to make some effort! You made a commitment to do so. Lastly my Bible reading time helps me alot with taking care of myself. Last year and this year I have made extra effort to get some exercise in my weekly routine. If I am going to keep up with all my commitments plus work, I need the physical energy to do it. I usually exercise on my own, so that gives me some time to myself too.
As an introvert how do you find the energy to interact with people in your job, and then have more energy to interact with people during ministry?
This one is a tough question to answer, as after work some days, especially after a hard day with sometimes difficult patients and cases, I just want to be all by myself. However as I said before, I made a commitment to everything that I am doing, so some days are just about perservering through and relying on God’s strength. Scheduling time to myself also is important, and also some days or weeks I just have to say no to catching up with people. Missing a catch up with someone is better than going to a catch up and not even really being there.
What keeps you going when you’re feeling worn down or just want a night off?
I remember God’s love for me, and that He was willing to sacrifice His Son, Jesus, to die for my sins, so that He could have a relationship with me. If I can share a little bit of that love with someone else, then that is worth feeling tired for, especially when I made a commitment to be a youth leader to these students.
What do you wish you knew about balancing full-time ministry with family and work before you jumped into it?
That you don’t have to carry the ministry work all on your own. The Church is a body, and it is many parts, and we are only one part, so use the rest of the body to help you. Firstly have your Senior pastors involved from the get go, you don’t have to ask permission for every single thing you do, but it is always honouring to keep them in the loop. Just like if you gave one of your student leaders a task, you would hope they kept you in the loop of what is happening. Involve parents from the get go, they love the students more than you do, they are more than willing to help if it is going to bless the students and you. Be bold and ask others in church if they want to help you. Ask and you will recieve! All this will help to take the load off you, and so make balancing things, a whole lot more manageble!
Any final words of advice?
Remember to over communicate. Never assume that peole know what you are thinking, or even know what you mean. I am originally from Singapore, and so at times Kiwis [New Zealanders] mistake what I say to mean something else. No such thing as too much communication!
It is ok to say NO. No is as good a word as yes. You are not God, you can never please everyone, even God has a hard time doing that. Teach this to your students too, that it is ok to say no. Then it allows them to be fully truthful with you, because if you respect their no, they will come back to you with a lot more than just yes or no.
I love to use K.I.S.S. [Keep It Simple Silly] with everything. When you try and be over elaborate with everything, you start to lose the heart of things quickly. Also simple things are easy to keep track off, and also have a bigger impact than you think they will.
Hope this helps you all, not only in balancing things for yourself, but just helps your life in general. Be blessed!”
- What’s your experience with balancing ministry, work, and family?