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Balance Family and Ministry During the Christmas Season?

by AdelFi

balance christmas and family

December 9, 2019

For a busy church planter, the lines between ministry and family can easily blur during this time of year. How can you keep that blurring in check with a deliberate life balance? Here are a few thoughts.

Life balance isn’t in the Bible

That’s right. You won’t find the term “life balance” in Scripture. You will find “balance,” used to mean a scale on which you weigh products being bought and sold. The scale assures a fair transaction.

Life balance is biblical

You will find out-of-balance lives in the Bible, as well as practical practices to get back into balance. The Apostle Paul himself was prone to live an out-of-balance life, yet he told the Thessalonians to “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life” (4:11). He also told Timothy to pray for “all people…that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Tim. 2:2).

Life does get out of balance, especially during this uber-busy season of ministry. Mark’s gospel makes clear that this was Jesus’ frequent experience, too. What did Jesus do to restore balance? At least three things.

Withdraw

Jesus “withdrew” from the busyness of his ministry life…to a mountain or a lake, that last time to a garden. Sometimes people followed him:

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

So, they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. (6:30–33)

If circumstances demanded it, and these did, Jesus would delay his withdrawal. But he always got back to it.

Church planters certainly have an unforgiving schedule to keep, but, if Jesus could do it…

Rest

Jesus got tired, so he made time to rest, which is a whole topic unto itself. If you want to explore it this Christmas season, try Mark Buchanan’s book The Rest of God. It’s a valuable, restful read.

Even planters have their limits, and although it is hard to stay still, downtime is more than multiplied in the realm of God’s timing.

Pray

Jesus spent time with his Father. That’s where he found refreshment and renewal, and that’s where we’ll find it too. But if you’re like me, prayer could be a higher priority. As we withdraw and rest this Christmas season, remember to set time aside for quiet, uninterrupted prayer.  

Solitude is a practice that my wife and I find helpful in our quest for life balance. We withdraw, rest, pray and listen. Take a few minutes to recount what practices help you stay in balance, and what may need to change.

Category: Missionary Minded