It’s Family-focused Friday!
This week we have Jake and Melissa Kircher talking about the authority that your senior pastor or boss has in your life in regards to the impact that also has on family. Keep reading, you’ll benefit from these tips.
So there you are: You’re trying to balance youth ministry with marriage and family life. You’re striving toward healthy goals and implementing new changes so that both your job and family will benefit. It’s hard work, but you know it’s worth it.
And then in walks the senior pastor. He asks to have a little chat and your stomach drops. He’s concerned that you aren’t putting in enough hours at the office, he’s not happy that your family didn’t show up at the church spaghetti supper last weekend, and he thinks your youth group numbers might be lacking.
What do you do? You’re trying to maintain a healthy, balanced life, but your boss doesn’t see balance in the same way.
There isn’t a simple answer to this dilemma, and frankly, most youth pastors will encounter this problem at some point during their ministry. Church life is demanding, healthy boundaries can be sketchy and hard to define, and ministry to teens and their families can be never-ending. So here are some thoughts on navigating balance while striving to respect authority:
Resist the urge to run. Quitting is sometimes the solution to unhealthy expectations from church leadership, but it is hardly ever the place to start. Many times, the willingness to stick out a situation causes the most growth and health—but you have to be prepared to engage in some tough and uncomfortable conversations with your boss. Do your best to listen, communicate respectfully, and work toward healthy compromises. Doing this will create opportunities for both you, and your senior pastor, to mature and have a deeper relationship.
Understand that everyone is different. In the midst of these difficult conversations, it’s important to understand that each person has their own preferred pace of life. Author and parent coach, Timothy Smith, argues that just like a personality, everyone has a different heart print. A heart print dictates how much busyness, stress, and activity people can handle. It’s easy to get wrapped up in who’s right or wrong when talking about healthy boundaries, but sometimes the issue is simply that you, your family, and your boss all have different pace of life capacities.
Respect authority—always. Your senior pastor is your boss and you need to respect their authority. (See Romans 13.) Don’t bash them behind their back to church members or other staff. If you have an issue or disagreement, speak to them directly about it and try to resolve it peaceably. Try to understand where they’re coming from as a head pastor, but also as a person. Pray for them. And keep working towards unity and teamwork when it comes to balancing ministry and family life.
Keep loving your families and students- and your boss too!
Jake and Melissa
*Don’t miss another marriage and family tip from Tim & Tasha Levert or Jake & Melissa Kircher! Get their posts emailed directly to you every Friday when you subscribe to the SYM Today Newsletter!*