A balancing act

For Myself , serving in the local church and attending bible study and home groups  is a regular part of my life and to a certain extent my wife,s also (  she is not yet  a Christian but loves to be involved ) –   God has impacted me that i might impact the next generation and i love that.

However, sometimes  i have a difficult time balancing family and ministry.  It’s so easy to become over-committed and under-connected.  When there is a lack of presence and priorities, relationships with God, spouses, and children suffer.  This is a dangerous place to be.

If you serve in  ministry in any way and have a family of your own, please take a moment to consider the following points compiled by ministry veterans.

5 Ways To Balance Family and Ministry:

1.  Keep the focus on Christ: We all know it, but as the hymn says, “We are prone to wander.”  Doing things for Christ in ministry is not synonymous with abiding in Him.  Protect your personal time with God above everything.

2.  Respect the priority of your marriage: Set a non-negotiable date night.  Communicate.  Do devotions together.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Surprise your spouse.  Love him/her according to their personal love language.

3.  Set boundaries: Set a limit to how many nights you are out a week doing ministry.  Give your spouse veto power over your schedule.  Do not miss your own kids’ events for ministry purposes.  Allow ample time for rest at home, listening, and fun.

4.  Set the tone in your home: Ensure that your home is a refuge of affection, warmth, and encouragement.  If you are too busy, you set a tone of stress and chaos.  May the Word of God be visible in your home and in your actions.

5.  Be intentional with your own children: Include your kids in ministry.  Allow them to enjoy the perks about serving at church.  Be present when you are home.  Find unique ways to encourage and celebrate them.  Be creative and fun!

What practical suggestions do you have to balance family and ministry?  I would love to hear your thoughts!

The last thing i want to do with my family is unintentional push them away from God and the church because of an in balance in time spent between the two.

Colossians 3:23-24

 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

 

Remember you can serve the Lord during time with your family in the way you act in the way you talk , in the way you engage with your family and those around you. When working for the church this is your front line , when at work this is your frontline for Christ and also when you are at home with loved ones this is also your frontline for Christ , so please remember that simply  because you are not physically doing work for your church ( maybe preparing Sunday school teaching or attending a meeting) this does not mean you are neglecting Christ because you can be serving him in your actions in the love you show for your wife , your children and the care and compassion for those others around you.

 

Advertisements

A church garden. Good idea?

 

In recent years i have gradually been bitten by the grow it yourself bug. Before we moved house we had no room in the garden to grow much fruit and vegetables, but we was lucky enough to get our hands on a local council allotment.

Great we thought , we had big plans of transforming the plot into a growers paradise full of neat raised beds full to the brim with wholesome goods, set between gravel paths with a nice little shed to sit in and enjoy a well-earned cuppa.It was going to be a family project and we would reap the benefits! But our own best laid plans usually fall short and this one was no exception. It started ok, although at first sight the overgrown plot looked quite intimidating.

After a few weeks of hard graft and plenty of stings from nettles and thistles we had the plot pretty much weed free. A composter was added to the plot. We put some manure over the plot and spent the next couple of months controlling the weeds and enriching the soil ready for the spring. Even in the winter months we was spending around 6 hrs per week at the plot removing the odd stubborn weed and turning the soil over , working in the compost and manure.

In our first year we produced carrots, parsnips, potatoes, lettuce, onions and garlic and raspberries. Throughout the summer we needed to spend an hour a  day, at least, on the plot just to keep the weeds under control. The second year was a different story, mine and my wifes hours increased at work , this along with a house move and the kids after school clubs and activities increasing ment less time could be spent on the plot and it became more and more over grown, eventually we had to concede and give up the allotment.

Now with a bigger garden we are able to grow a little bit at the end of the garden. We are currently nurturing leeks, onions, peppers, beetroot, carrots, strawberries, green beans and potatoes.

 

Then the other day i thought wouldn’t it be great to be able to grow enough fruit and vegetables to be able to give out to those who really need it in our community. So my thoughts have now turned to whether i should look into starting a group through my church who are able to give up the time to grow enough produce to make a real difference to peoples lives. But i dont really know were to start!

so many questions .Where would we grow it?. Who and how many would be needed to help?.  How would we distribute the produce and how would we identify those who would benefit the most? What if we have a poor yield of crops.

So i think the place to start is in Prayer. To pray for some answers, for some guidance and for God to bless my plans. The lord has  put these ideas into my heart so i hope and pray he can guide me in the coming months to whatever outcome he has in store for me.

It would certainly be exciting to be able to be part of a team who plants the seed and watches as God nurtures and provides for those who need. The same way as he provided through his Son Jesus for all of us who truly needed him to save us.

Psalm 104:14

You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth

Matthew 25:31-46 

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, …

 

 

Small Screen Big impact – Gaming

Another part of the Small screen Big impact series this one relating to gaming from Ray Evans Paster at Grace Community Church in kempston.

This is a great series talking about some of the most popular modern media, there place and impact on our lives as we try to keep our focus on God.

The gaming industry is mind bogglingly big. Games outsell Hollywood 5 fold, and have millions around the world obsessed.

Take a listen to this sermon its around 25 minutes long.

http://www.graceinthecommunity.com/Media/Player.aspx?media_id=98566&file_id=108243

PSALM 11:5

The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

 

 

Small Screen – Big Impact Social networking

The link below is to a sermon by a Martin Salter one of the Church leaders at Grace Community Church in Kempston, Bedford.

It is a great insight into the impact of social media on our lives. It is part of a series of 6 talks based around the title small screen – big impact.

Have a listen it will be of great help i,m sure.

He talks about the dangers of social media , and also the great benefits of using social media.

I will try to add each talk in the series daily.

http://www.graceinthecommunity.com/Media/Player.aspx?media_id=98851&file_id=108539

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 
Ephesians 4:29