CHURCH BUSINESS: Managing work, family and the ministry
bY Oludare Mayowa
Per Susan M. Heathfield, Human Resource Expert, Writer and Management Consultant says; “Work-life balance is a concept that supports the efforts of employees to split their time and energy between work and the other important aspects of their lives. Work-life balance is a daily effort to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.”
In our school days, from elementary to secondary, we were taught the principles of a balanced diet. Food as important as it is, if we don’t maintain balance in our eating habits, it will result in unpalatable consequences to our well being.
The key elements of balancing our diet are as follows;
A balanced diet must contain foods from all the main food groups in the correct proportions.
A balanced diet should be able to provide the essential nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals required for healthy living
A balanced diet should contain the correct number of calories to maintain a healthy living while the basic reasons we must eat a balanced diet are essentially to promote healthy living, help control weight gain and to prevent illness and diseases.
The same principle applies in the construction industry, there is a balance a construction engineer must maintain or follow to ensure that the structure being built is suitable and in good condition for human habitation or the purpose for which the structure is built.
Our life is also designed to maintain balance; in our family life, work ethics, recreation and spiritual wellness. Without a balance, our life could be exposed to illness which may lead and in some cases, we may suffer some consequences that makes us miserable and unfulfilled perhaps for the rest of our lives.
From evidence all around us, many working class are engaged almost 24/7 in the rat race; in the quest to make the end meet and probably be successful in our endeavours, we spend hours at work to the detriment of other aspects of their lives.
Living and working in a city like Lagos and its environment or other major cities of the world comes with its peculiar challenges, which include coping with traffic, traveling long distances to and from work, high cost of living and the need to work long hours to meet the predetermined target. When you combine these challenges with other personal issues, they resulted in cumulative stress and reduce the capacity to function efficiently in other aspects of life.
A number of families have broken down as a result of the failure of people to maintain work and family life balance, not to talk of deteriorating health; both physical and spiritual. It is very easy to give excuses of work as reasons for shrinking in our responsibilities to family, friends and even the church.
What are the consequences of not living a balanced lifestyle?
Just like our failure to eat a balanced diet, people suffer ill-health, malnutrition, faint and general weakness of the body and if care is not taken, this could result to loss of life at the prime age
Many people are dying from work-related stress, suffer diminishing returns on their job, and eventually lose their job due to lack of ability to focus and deliver on predetermined targets. Many leaders are spiritually malnourished today because they could not even find the time to nurture their souls with the word of God due to the demand of their schedules.
Leaders must discover God’s purpose for their lives: Most people are living a life God has not called them to live. They work as bankers, lawyers, engineers, journalists, etc, and all they focus on the job is to be ahead of their contemporaries, in the process of creating an edge, they overwork themselves without a commensurate result or fruits while neglecting those other important aspects of their lives. You can be the best in your profession without engaging in the neck-breaking competition with others. Focus on your niche and work hard sufficiently enough to be the best. Also, create time to make an impact in other areas of your life.
Eliminate the unnecessary distractions: The need to be validated by peers and others within their age-bracket, profession, and even neighbour has driven many people to buried themselves in the search for success without recognizing that work success without family success amount to failure. Some leaders We sometimes seek to be like their neighbours; remember the story of Israel, they want to have King like the countries around them and in the process rejected the rulership of God (1Samuel 8:4-7.) When leaders allow themselves to be distracted from their main goal and calling in life, their lives will definitely lose balance and out of control.
Get your priority right: The primary purpose in life is to worship God and in doing that leaders should desire a life that will help them to put the act of worship in the centre of everything they do. They should recognize the fact that they need to work to earn a living, take care of their families and find time to bond with them in love. In their journey to be successful, leaders must appreciate the place of relationship, with friends, family and community they live in. The responsibility to worship God should not be swallowed by the demand of other areas of lives. Some people also waste a lot of their time and energy pursuing frivolous things, chasing what does not add value to their lives and in the process misplaced their priority for life. Many church leaders today are racing to build the biggest auditorium, have the largest congregations and perhaps be in the limelight as the leading ministering within their denominations. The race to achieve these has put many of them under pressure and pushing them beyond their limit, and sometimes, many leaders are experiencing burnout with some experiencing health challenges that eventually debarred them from continuing in the ministry.
Develop the right capacity to cope with life: Leaders’ capacity to be efficient and effective in their work will create enough room for them to take care of other areas of priority and ensure that they have a balanced lifestyle. A good teacher, who has developed capacity for his calling should be able to effectively put his/her students through the entire curriculum within a specific period and still be able to create time for family, friends and spiritual callings. A lawyer who knows his onion should be able to handle his assignment within a time frame and still have sufficient time to focus on other areas of priority. When you see people working late hours, sweating it out to accomplish a goal or an assignment, especially when such work falls within their regular call of duty, then you will know that they are not sufficiently prepared for the job. They will have to steal time from other areas of their lives to enable them to meet their targets.
Commit your way to God: Many leaders cannot control their schedule because of where they work, who they work with and the type of work they do. It is imperative that they commit their heart desire to God and in due time, He will surely make a way suitable to help them achieve a balance that will allow spiritual growth and family bonding.
The reward for a balanced life
The word of God enjoined us to be responsible to our families and communities by earning a living, but what shall it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and loses his soul. In our quest to provide for our families, leaders should not neglect their love for the family, the need to get involved with families and their commitment to the work of God and the flock under their shepherd. God blessing is assured to those who diligently seek Him.
God is the one who gives power to make wealth, not the long hours at work, not the hard work only and not the eyes service at work that many have adopted to please the who have oversight role over them.
God provides bread for the eater and seed for the sower.
Stop the rat race to accomplish like your neighbours, shunned the profanity of wanting to be like the other denominations and be contented with the level the Lord has placed you, and maximize the benefit of your callings.