Balancing ministry with other demands of life

Importance of rest for sustained ministry success

(Exo 31:15 NIV)  For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.

God’s people were not commended for working non-stop. On the contrary, those who did not observe the Sabbath were put to death.

Why is rest so important? Because the God who created us knows that we can only function effectively if we have enough rest. If we don’t rest, we may do well for a short time but will definitely burn out after a while.

(Psa 23:1-3 NIV)  A psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. {2} He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, {3} he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Illustration: The Devil's Day Off?

One day an angry church member scolded his pastor saying, "I phoned you Monday, but I couldn't get you." The preacher explained that it was his day off. "What? A day off? The devil never takes a day off!" exclaimed the member with holier-than-thou indignation. "That's right, " said the minister, "and if I didn't take any 'time out,' I would be just like him!"

Even Jesus rested.

Mark 6:31 NIV)  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."

If the Son of God needs to rest, so do we.

Application: Have you been guilty of not taking enough rest in ministry? How do you plan to reschedule your weekly routine so that you have some time for rest?

Balancing ministry with a secular job

When we think of the apostle Paul, we think of someone who was devoted full time to the ministry. But it is not always true that Paul was full time in the ministry. There were periods in his life when he worked and served in the ministry at the same time.

(Acts 18:1-4 NIV)  After this, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. {2} There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to see them, {3} and because he was a tentmaker as they were, he stayed and worked with them. {4} Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.

Even Paul had to balance his secular job and ministry. We may think that we cannot be effective unless we are full time in the ministry. But that is not true.

We can have ministry plus secular job and we can ask God to help us to balance both.

Balancing ministry with family

(1 Tim 3:1-4 NIV)  Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. {2} Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, {3} not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. {4} He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.

Church leaders should not be preoccupied with their ministry that they don’t have time for the family. They should examine themselves to make sure that they fulfil their role properly as husband and father.

It is important for the leader to take time off the ministry so that he can spend time with the family.