Take a moment and picture someone tossing a ball in the air. All of their attention is on the single ball. Both hands and both eyes are on it. Now, add a second ball into the picture. One is in the air and one is in their grip. It’s still somewhat manageable, yet their attention is now split and things are a little more difficult. Next add a third, a fourth, and a fifth. If you keep adding, eventually they will be flying everywhere, unattended.
This is often what our lives are like. We like to think we can just add this one more thing, but it can be at the expense of original and more primary things. Marriage and family is an area that sometimes gets neglected in the juggling act of life, work, and church planting.
We tell ourselves it's just a season; it's just for the launch, it's just for…fill in the blank. The juggle is real! When we try and juggle too many things, we get distracted and quickly become disconnected.
Join me in considering some practical ways we can live with purpose in the unique and challenging season of church planting.
Prioritize Marriage and Family in Your Calendar
Schedule family and couple date nights months in advance. Don’t reschedule them when people ask if you are available on a night you already booked up with marriage and family time. I’d also suggest setting a maximum number of nights per week you will have church or work commitments.
Set an Example in Love
Consider establishing a culture of marital and family priority in your church plant through your own example. Set a precedent of not sacrificing family for the sake of kingdom ministry.
Utilize Meal Times
Use breakfast and dinner as a way to start and close the day with intentional conversation as a couple or as a family. Cultivate a ritual of asking about the high and low point of your day; this will help you regularly celebrate together and care for one another.
Prioritizing your marriage and your family when entering a season of church planting is of absolute importance. Let your marriage be a prioritized strength in your church plant culture. If you have children, invest more time in them and their passions when planting. Choose to meet them for coffee and meals like you would with someone else you are discipling. If your children have games, recitals, or extra-curricular activities, be present and be an encourager who celebrates how God is at work in their lives during the journey of church planting.
As a family who is connected, you will be most fully available to love others and pour into the people God is calling you to love. Love the church as a couple who is loved. Love your city as a family who is loved. Luke 10 says,“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength…Love your neighbor as yourself”. Your spouse and your kids are your first neighbors!
Resource: Couple's Date Night
Another Way to Support Healthy Relationships in your Community
Kurt Attaway is the Associate Pastor at the Pearland Vineyard Church. Kurt and his wife, Lauren, are enjoying life with their son Canten, daughter Emersen and son Jaden. Kurt and Lauren were married in 2006. In 2007, Kurt joined the staff at The Vineyard. Kurt has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the State of Texas. While Kurt thoroughly enjoys playing basketball and golf, hanging with family and friends takes the top prize for favorite free time activity.