As a husband, a father of three youngins, and a youth pastor, I often find myself thinking about my work-life balance. Life buzzes by as busily as ever, but in this particular season, I want to be careful to use my time diligently and productively, while also honoring and cherishing all those for whom and to whom I am responsible.
Apparently, I am not the only one thinking about these tensions. In fact, I’ve come across numerous articles about the balance of work and life and ministry. The question of balance seems to surface often in a frenetic age such as ours. And so, I thought it might be helpful to compile some resources on this topic here.
This list is hardly exhaustive, but hopefully, it will provide a good start for you as you consider your own work-life balance.
- Balancing Act for Next Generation Pastors by Leadership Network
“This group [next generation pastors] seems to have almost an angst, trying to figure out how to balance their life—how to do this thing and not leave their wife and kids behind,” says Linda, who has led five Leadership Communities for next generation pastors. “It comes up without fail in every meeting. They are very aware of the burnout factor and the failure rate, and they put a lot of emphasis on how to avoid hitting the wall.”
- Workaholism by David Murray
“Set a reasonable number of working hours per week (recent research shows a huge loss of productivity after 40 hours of work in a week).”
- Bring Back the 40-Hour Work Week by Sara Robinson
“…most American workers don’t realize that for most of the 20th century, the broad consensus among American business leaders was that working people more than 40 hours a week was stupid, wasteful, dangerous and expensive — and the most telling sign of dangerously incompetent management to boot.”
- Time management: How an MIT postdoc writes 3 books, a PhD defense, and 6+ peer-reviewed papers — and finishes by 5:30pm by Ramit Sethi
“You could fill any arbitrary number of hours with what feels to be productive work. Between e-mail, and crucial web surfing, and to-do lists that, in the age of David Allen, grow to lengths that rival the bible, there is always something you could be doing. At some point, however, you have to put a stake in the ground…”
- How Many Hours Can I Work? by Tim Challies
“A man who farmed would have to give just about every waking hour, every daylight hour, to his crops and his animals. The shepherds and farmers and fishermen of Jesus’ day were not working 9-to-5 jobs. Most of them would have been working extremely long hours just to scratch out an existence.”
- Fathers, Stop Stealing From Your Children by Nathan Bingham
“Time management is a difficult task for the best of us. It can often seem impossible to give our children and wives the time they deserve.”
- How to Create More Margin in Your Life by Michael Hyatt
“I realized that if I didn’t take action now and regain control of my calendar, the train was going to come off the tracks”
- Wisdom and Sabbath Rest by Timothy Keller
“Living wisely (or circumspectly) is to a great degree a matter of how we spend our time.”
What tips would you offer for balancing work and life?