Balancing Family and Youth Ministry Part 2: The Family Calendar

OK, let’s get real.  Balance in the calendar isn’t REALLY what we’re talking about here.  What we’re really talking about is making sure our spouse and kids remember our name and the last thing we were wearing in case we actually don’t come home one night because something sinister has actually happened to us!

Balance Family and Ministry

Balance in the family calendar means balance in family harmony.  And we all want to strive for that. If you aren’t ministering to your own family, you cannot possibly make lasting impact on anyone else’s family.

So try this:

On a regular basis, sit down with your wife and kids and get the important stuff at home on the calendar.  For our family, that happens in a major way at the beginning of each semester.  Then monthly, I add anything that has surfaced.

1. Communicate calendar additions, subtractions, and adjustments.  Find a system that works for you.   It’s sad, but true – once our boys became teenagers, my wife and I were missing key events on the calendar because one of us would add them to the calendar and then forget to tell the other.  So we decided to treat it like we did when our kids were younger and we were at the pool or the beach.  One set of eyes on the calendar at all times so we always know someone is watching.  We use Google calendar – so I just add the event and then send my wife an invite so it automatically goes to her email when she checks it.

2. Never, ever miss monumental dates for work.  Ever.  Calendar EVERYTHING around birthdays, anniversaries, even Groundhog’s Day if it means something special to you.  I don’t do youth camp, D-Now, Wednesday night – nothing – if it conflicts with a birthday or anniversary.  Yes, I’m serious – even Wednesday night.  I have someone cover for me.  It speaks volumes to my family that their special days come before any days at church.

3. If you have to cancel: If you ever have to bail on a calendared family event (because sometimes crises really cannot wait until the next day), apologize immediately and RESCHEDULE.  Occasionally I’ve been called away from a game or concert on an emergency that could not wait.  I obviously can’t reschedule the concert, but I can make sure we go out for ice cream, spend a day at the beach, or commit a few hours of uninterrupted time in front of our xBox 360.

Your family is the most important calling and most important ministry you have.  Does your calendar reflect that?

What is essential to your family calendar? 



photo credit: via