Married to the Ministry


Joined Together

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You can be successful at having a healthy and thriving
children’s ministry and marriage. Here’s how…

1. Show your church that your marriage and family are a

Because family systems are different, what you show your church
will be different from what I show my church. Do you put family
photos on your desk at work? Are your home and work keys on the
same chain? Do you keep one all-purpose calendar for listing home
and work events? Do you have separate telephone books for
colleagues and friends? Do you limit your nights away from your
family to no more than three per week? Do you put your family’s
annual vacation in your staff planning calendar? (Not that your
family vacation is up for debate; this is simply to inform your
team far enough in advance.)

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2. Show your spouse and children that your ministry is a
priority. When there’s a church function, include your family in
the planning and execution of the event. Your family isn’t
ornamentation to an event; they’re an extension of who you are.
Model, very clearly, that your family knows you have a public
ministry and that they’re a part of it.

3. Advertise your schedule. Gary D. Preston, pastor of Bethany
Church in Boulder, Colorado, told in Leadership Journal how one of
his pastor friends posts his schedule:

Office Hours

I’m here most days about 8 or 9 a.m. Occasionally I arrive as
early as 7 a.m., but some days I get here as late as 10 or 11 a.m.
I usually leave about 4 or 5 p.m., but occasionally I’m out of here
around 6 or 8 p.m. Sometimes I leave as late as 11 p.m. Some days
or afternoons or mornings I’m not here at all, and lately I’ve been
here just about all the time, except when I’m someplace else, but I
should be here then, too.

Sound familiar?

Seriously, though, you could use the following format. For your
convenience in meeting with me, my schedule is as follows:

  • Monday: Office hours in morning; staff meeting 11:30 a.m. to 2
    p.m.; office hours in afternoon;
  • Tuesday: Office hours all day;
  • Wednesday: Study/prayer day;
  • Thursday: Office hours in morning and afternoon;
  • Friday: Day off (please call the church office with any
  • Saturday and Sunday: Available by appointment; Saturday evening
    reserved for Sunday preparations;
  • Weekday Evenings: Available by appointment, though limited to
    three evenings for meetings or appointments.

(Please call the church office to schedule an appointment as
“office” hours aren’t always spent “in” the office.)

4. Keep your hand on the pulse of your family. We don’t fit the
old saying in my home: “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy! If
Daddy ain’t happy, don’t nobody care!” My wife is my best friend,
and it is she who keeps the emotional pulse of our family. She
alerts me to the changes in our children so I can adjust to the
demands of their mood swings. She gives me advice as to how to
better meet my family’s needs.

5. Hang on to some good reads. Three books I continue to review
are Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend,
Margin by Richard Swenson, and Daddy@Work: Loving Your
Family, Loving Your Job, Being Your Best in Both Worlds
Robert D. Wolgemuth and Ken Blanchard.


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