When Ministry and Seminary Collide—

The family seems to always lose!

This week, the first week of classes, has been an extraordinarily busy week. For many seminary students, I am sure this is a true statement. For seminary students who either work in a secular job or a ministry at a local church, this is even more of a true statement.

This week, my church hosted a mission-intensive week we called “My Jerusalem Week.” We worked on our own facilities as well as worked around the community. We had something going on from 8 am to 9 pm each night from Monday through Friday. In addition to this, I had to continue to focus on my own area of ministry with the forthcoming church “school” year fast approaching.

As I stated earlier, this was also the first week of classes at Southern Seminary as well. I am taking Baby Greek which meets four days a week. I now have homework every night which has not happened in over 14 years! Plus, the class is at 7 am which is far too early to be learning a foreign language if you want my opinion.

I remember I wrote a post here at GtS back in March about how to avoid losing time with your family. Well, I must confess that I have failed miserably since June when Krista lost her job…again. This week it was made abundantly clear to me that my family must take priority over ministry and school. However, there is a season in both ministry and school where your time is demanded over your time with family. The problem is when both of these occur in the same week. Perhaps Paul was talking about just this situation when he wrote 1 Corinthians 7:25-40.

My challenge, to myself and to you, is to maintain a proper balance in life. Devote your precious, fleeting time to your family whenever you can. Yes, your relationship with God is of the utmost importance, but your time at the office or in the classroom should not affect your relationship with God. If you fail with your family, then I believe you will not have much of a ministry.

My question is how do you strike a balance? I know how I sometimes strike a balance, but I also know I fail regularly. Please, I would love to drink from your well of knowledge and experience in this area.

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Terry Delaney
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Written by Terry Delaney