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family and ministry…oh, the guilt!

 —  December 11, 2012 — 2 Comments

We have a little tradition here in our youth ministry during the month of December! We rest. We cancel midweeks and utilize teaching videos on Sundays.

It’s so interesting. Every other church I’ve been at in December it has been MAYHEM.

But this tradition matches my season of life pretty well.

See as a mom, there is this awesome (this should ooze sarcasm) thing called mommy guilt. And being in ministry can be complicated which impacts my family…which adds to my mommy guilt.

My kids are awesome! They love Jesus and love church. Church is a bit of a second home to them. All of my kids have been born or come to my family while I’ve been at Overlake. Seriously, they went to church before they went anywhere else. Our childrens’ programs are great but…even with all that…sometimes they don’t want to be there anymore. On Sundays, we get there early and stay later than everyone else.

And there are so many opportunities that I say no to at church because of my family. I wish I could have coffee with every person that asked and I would love being a part of all the extra gatherings of students that happen spontaneously  but I can’t. I have a husband who is the funniest person to be around. We need each other and we need time together.

Also, I have three little adorable kids that need me to mother them. Which includes feeding them, helping with homework, taking them to gymnastics, cheering them on at basketball, playing board games with them, tucking them in…getting my husband to clean up their puke cause I have a very sensitive gag reflex. Being a mom requires being present. And I love it.

But I love my job too. And I am certain that I am called to ministry. I realize not everyone is comfortable with my reality of working and being a mom. Yet, there are few things I have felt more certain than of this…my call to my family and my call to the church. Both. It’s complicated and at times overwhelming but so worth it.

Can you see where the guilt comes from?

I don’t have it all figured out. I am taking each day as it comes. Trying to use wisdom (praying for divine wisdom) to know when to say yes and when to say no.

So you can see why I love December. It gives my guilt a break and lets me focus on my family during this special time. We get to spend extra time together and celebrate the birth of our King without feeling like I am failing in ministry.

What about you- do you ever feel torn between family and ministry? What do you do with the guilt?

 

Neely McQueen

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2 responses to family and ministry…oh, the guilt!

  1. When the mommy guilt comes I have have to remind myself there are seasons in life and ministry life. When the season is crazy for ministry I try to find ways to teach my boys how to serve with me, something as simple as helping with a mommy chore so she can finish a ministry project. Or if I am setting up for an event and I have to bring them along I think of ways they can help set up with me. I love it because we get to serve together and I am also getting to teach them the value of serving. There are days they may not be so excited about it, but then there are days when they know what the event is about and they are beyond excited to help.
    Then those days when I feel whatever balance there has been is tipping to far to the side of ministry, I choose my first job, being a mommy. I turn off my phone and other distractions and let me boys have my undivided attention.

  2. Just found your blog as a result of a SYM article and so glad I did. My husband and I have been youth ministry leaders going on 3 yrs. I’m 40+ with 3 boys, 15, 11 and 8. Our life sounds like yours. My kids, thankfully, love our church because it is our second home. But the first 2 yrs, in ministry I did not slow down in December and my kids paid for it, I paid for it! So I announced last Christmas that I would not schedule any Youth Min. activities in December. December will be my month to slow down, play with my kids, watch movies with my husband and listen to God. So far, it’s been GREAT! Yes, I felt a little guilty when my youth group kids asked – “when is the Christmas party this year?” But I hope my decision of putting my family first will be something that “all” my kids will remember and learn from’

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