Stories of well-meaning ministry leaders losing their families are too many to count. Because pastors (and core volunteers) passionately give their best effort to their ministries, we can forget that our primary congregation is waiting for us at home. This is compounded by the fact that church schedules normally take leaders away from the home during the times in the week that the family is most available. You can count me among those that wrestle with this tension. But I have also been fortunate that God has blessed me with both an amazing wife and numerous mentors. God has used both of these to help me learn one important truth. Getting quality time with my family does not happen by accident. We have to create it.
A FORMULA FOR QUALITY FAMILY TIME
I am constantly having to remind myself that Megan and the kids need my intentional leadership just as much as my ministry areas do. I’m also the type that needs a clear strategy for getting something done. For years, I’ve taught small group leaders that there is a formula for helping their group members develop authentic community. What I’ve realized is that this same plan can be used for creating more quality time with my family.
A FORMULA FOR AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY
(Proximity + Frequency)Intimacy = Authentic Community
We cannot grow closer to people that we are not in frequent proximity to. The great deception of the digital age is we can experience community with others through a digital screen. This is simply not true. We were designed to interact with others and our families should be the primary place to have that need met.
But proximity and frequency are not the only two pieces to this formula. We need intimacy as well. In his book, The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller defines intimacy as fully knowing and fully loving someone at the same time. To fully know someone, I have to spend time listening to them, observing them and learning about their heart.
A PLAN FOR QUALITY FAMILY TIME
But none of this will happen for your family by accident. You have to have a plan for putting this formula in place. Our family has decided that there are certain times each week that no one else is allowed in the house. We use this time to talk about the highs and lows of the week, play games and share a meal. We also have an entire week in the summer of quality family time when we go to Pine Cove Family Camp. These are just a few of the ways we create space to learn more about each other and enjoy time together.
This is also why I wrote Create More Family Time Now: 4 Effective strategies to prioritize the people who matter most This FREE eBook is filled with tips and stories from our family’s attempt to put this formula into practice. It will help you develop a plan to be intentional. Here are some of the things you will find inside:
- 4 effective strategies that will help you create more quality family time
- Key takeaways at the end of each chapter that summarize the most important next steps to take
- A worksheet for the family to use in brainstorming new family time activities
- A Quality Family Time Promise that each family member can sign together
The Coleman family is far from perfect. And we still go through seasons where our family time gets slighted in the name of great leadership. But in God’s grace, we are learning to be intentional with our time together and pray this resource can help you too!