Women are a vital part of the Body of Christ. As His beloved Daughters, we are called to boldly step into our callings of advancing the Kingdom of Heaven, surrender our lives to being a vessel of Christ’s love, and victoriously lead others who are called to ministry themselves. While it may be hard work, there is nothing more fulfilling or rewarding than engaging in the call God has placed on your life.
One of the most frequently asked questions I hear from other women is, “How do you lead a ministry as a mom?” and what a valid question that is! As a mom, I fully acknowledge that motherhood is a full-time ministry in itself; however, with the Holy Spirit’s leading and divine power and strength, the balance of caring for your spouse and children while leading a full-time ministry can be done!
Here are some tangible ways of how I balance leading a ministry as a mom:
Make sure that your priorities are in line.
It can be exciting to step into something new that God has called you to. Fresh revelation and detailed vision and forecasting that only God can make happen flood the forefront of your dreams and thoughts. I don’t know about you, but when God sparks something in my own heart, I am already out of the door, chasing after Him and His promises while writing all the lists and filling up my calendar.
I remember when my ministry was just getting off the ground. My husband, who is also my greatest support, said to me, “You do not want to sacrifice your marriage and family on the altar of ministry.” And what wise words of discernment those were.
During the first seven years of my ministry, my husband and I were married with no children at the time. There is such a different standard of an abundance of margin when you don’t have kids as opposed to when you’re a mom. While at the time, I didn’t have the responsibilities as a mother, I did still have a responsibility as a wife. Because the excitement of this ministry was still fresh and new, my time and intentionality with my husband were jeopardized.
A few years later, after adopting my two children, I began to learn how to walk out another layer of balancing my marriage, my ministry, and now my new role as a mother.
The Holy Spirit gave me a fresh revelation into what this would now look like. God began to show me that when it comes to my earthly ministry, God comes first, my husband and children come next, and everyone else gets the rest.
1 Timothy 5:8, ESV says, “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
God created the establishment of family well before the beginning of the world, and we see it in God’s Word with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. When we embrace our identities as children of the Father, and we operate from that space, along with our roles within our earthly families, then we can overflow with His Spirit and power into the other areas of ministry in our lives.
Include your family in the ministry as much as possible.
As wives and moms, anytime we are called into Kingdom ministry, our families are also called with us. Because ministry is a sacrifice of energy, time, and resources, our family must be aligned with the call in order to promote ongoing unity and healthy function within the home.
Having a husband who is supportive of what God has called me to has brought a new dynamic that allows me to stay balanced and lead the ministry well. I encourage you to find a quiet space and sit in His presence. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what stewarding His ministry looks like. From there, make a list of the best tangible ways your husband could support you, both in ministry and at home.
My spouse has been the most supportive throughout my leadership within the ministry by praying for me. I can truly feel the presence of the Lord that is mentioned in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Knowing that he is partnering with me in praying for my emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being has brought me confidence and a covering that I wouldn’t have tangibly felt otherwise.
Another way my family has stayed connected to my ministry has been through our schedules, as a family and individually. I would suggest that you make it a regular practice to sit down with your spouse each month, as well as weekly, to discuss your upcoming agendas. Not only will this keep your husband in the loop, but it will give you both a chance to communicate expectations and needs that your family may have. By being diligent about this, there will be a minimal chance of any gaps or holes within your calendar.
Along with communicating unavailable blocks in your schedule, I would encourage you to set a consistent set of work hours. I recently had to adapt to a set nine-to-five weekday schedule to promote a healthy home life balance. As a wife and a mom, our families need us the most when they are home, so for us, it was in my family’s best interest to be mindful of that priority.
A child’s faith can be practiced and activated when we give them space to tangibly partner with us in the Kingdom of God. Here are a few fun ways to encourage your children to get involved.
- Pray with them: My younger children loved to take turns praying around the dinner table in the evenings. As we blessed our food, we also prayed for people we loved and circumstances that moved our hearts. When you bring them along in praying for your ministry, you give them a perspective of how powerful prayer can be!
- Art and letters: Children love to be creative! My children and I would often sit together and write small letters with colorful drawings to give to those my ministry was serving. What a great way to grow an encouraging spirit within your kids!
- Share the good news: I often will share with my kids all the ways that I see God’s hand moving within my organization. By doing this, my children see how their prayers around the dinner table have been answered, and they have an account of how faithful God is and has been. Our faith is encouraged by testimony, which is a great way to remember the character of God.
- Care Packages: One of my favorite ways to offer my kids hands-on involvement within the ministry is through putting together care packages and blessing bags. Based on your ministry’s needs, this can look like packing gallon storage bags with necessities for those in need or putting together a small gift of pampering products for women within your outreach. While you are packing these things with your kids, it leaves a gentle space to have a discussion surrounding your ministry.
One thing I have learned about children is this; they have a willing heart and a childlike faith. Bringing them alongside you in this way will edify and empower them as they are seeing God through their own eyes.
You are an example to everyone following you in this ministry.
A friend once said to me, “You set the bar for the staff on your ministry.” The more I thought about that, the more clarity I gained regarding my role as a leader among my staff.
The first work habit that was revealed to me was that if I place a high emphasis on the amount of time I spend working in a week, my staff will subconsciously feel the need to work all the time. While I believe in responsible work ethics and habits, I also believe that family always comes first. A practice that has helped keep me accountable in this area has been to schedule set hours to work the ministry while maintaining the interests of my family as a priority.
Another essential work habit that can be detrimental to a healthy balance is constantly saying “yes” to the ministry and “no” to your family. Not only will your ministry staff feel that they can’t put their own families first, but it will create a chaotic imbalance of what Biblical ministry is.
Between four and five years ago, I learned the importance of having balance and boundaries around my ministry. This was a significant turning point as I embraced the truth that saying yes to one thing meant saying no to another. During this time, I evaluated what was more important to God and me in the ranking of the ministries within my life.
As a leader, the most important thing I implemented was that I was not 9-1-1, and everything is not an emergency. This concept brought so much freedom around my role within the organization and the positions of those on my staff. Anytime I would run to fix something that could have been solved by someone else on my team, I was sending a message that my team could not be trusted with the skills and strengths that the Lord equipped them with. Not only does this create a space of unhealthy dependency on a leader, but it does not promote an environment of healthy growth.
Jesus was our perfect example of what it looks like to call others to come alongside you in ministry. He shows us that those in our team are never meant to stay stagnant. Good leaders help those they are leading to grow and step into new positions as they outgrow their old ones. We see Jesus doing just that in Mark 3:14-15, NIV:
“He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons.”
Through the life of Jesus, and how he entrusted the men He was training up, I was able to glean what roles in ministry looked like and how it was supposed to be stewarded. It was through this truth that I learned to delegate to those who worked for me so that they could learn to solve problems and create God-given solutions.
Tips for creating balance and boundaries within your ministry.
- Make a list of what is acceptable and expected.
Communication is essential in making sure that life runs smoothly. This applies to your marriage, your parenting, your work, your ministry, your relationships – and the list could go on and on. Because communication is so important, it is crucial that you bring your spouse along in helping you to create balance and boundaries for your ministry.
There are many ways to connect and create harmony between home life and ministry life, and it comes down to simply making a list. During your family connect time, pray with and for one another, and discuss your personal needs as well as the needs of the family. This is a great time to communicate each spouse’s emotional and mental well-being and their individual work and family loads, which offers an opportunity to support each other accordingly.
Action Plan: Schedule a time for a family meeting with your spouse every month. Use these meeting times to discuss the holistic health of the family and each other. Be transparent, honest, and create a safe place when making your lists of expectations.
- Merge your family and ministry schedules.
There is nothing more satisfying than filling in a new monthly calendar spread. The month is fresh, and the possibilities are open. This is also a great time to step into creating a healthy balance for your home life and ministry needs for the month ahead.
Combining your two priorities of home life and ministry work can seem overwhelming, but more often than not, it is relatively simple. With so many calendar options, from iCal to paper planners, to monthly magnetic whiteboards, you are sure to find a method that works for you and your family. In addition, my husband and I utilize our shared calendar app so that we are always in the calendar loop whenever we are on the go.
I usually take advantage of our family connect time to sit with my husband and write all engagements, family appointments, work schedules, date nights, and family days throughout our monthly calendar. Then, we refresh my ministry schedule and adjust accordingly. It is pretty standard that I am asked to speak on weekends and engage in ministry work in the evenings. By scheduling set office hours and making a margin for one or two speaking engagements a month, I create healthy boundaries for my family.
Action Plan: Find a calendar system that works for your family and begin to fill in your schedule. Be intentional about putting your family’s home and life happenings first, followed by your projected ministry schedule.
- Surrender the idea that you need to do it all and delegate where possible.
I know first-hand how hard it can be to share in the load, especially when it comes to ministry. As believers and members of the Body of Christ, it is crucial that we share in one another’s burdens, even those of our schedules.
Let me encourage you that your intuition and ability to hear the voice of God are valid. He would not have inspired you to bring along the specific people within your organization if He didn’t create them with unique gifts and talents to help in running a smooth ministry.
As leaders of a ministry, we get a bird’s eye perspective that team members don’t necessarily see. Because we see the whole picture, we also can see where there is a need that must be filled. Even though we, as leaders, are fully capable of bringing solutions to every need within the ministry, it is unnecessary. We build trust and encouragement throughout those individuals from our team as they learn to step into their giftings. Which in turn allows them to work in excellence for the Kingdom of God.
Action Plan: Sit down and make a list, prioritizing what only you can do as a leader. Then, prayerfully delegate the remaining tasks to those within your team.
You, Daughter of Christ, were made for such a time as this! The Lord has called you to the ministry of family and the ministry of God. Not only will He provide you wisdom and discernment, but He will overflow His grace and strength to create the perfect balance of both. Through your family and your ministry, God will partner with you to bring the His presence on earth as it is in heaven.
Bonus Video: Questions for your husband and an awesome book!