22nd November 2018
On Tuesday I had the privilege of spending the day with a young leader called John Harbour. John is due to take on the leadership of King’s Church, High Wycombe, sometime next year when their current lead pastor, Neal Bartlett, hands over the reins after 25 years of very fruitful ministry. Neal is a good friend of mine who has clearly trained his successor well.
Over lunch John and I found ourselves talking about the tricky issue of finding and maintaining a sustainable life balance. This seems to be a question each generation of church leaders returns to again and again. How do we run the race, fulfil all that we believe God has called us to do, without failing to prioritise family life and rest? I have written about this before, but it is clearly something many of us struggle with and is worth returning to from time-to-time.
A year ago, I made a significant change to my weekly rhythm by moving my day off from Monday to Friday. As I have written before, this meant changing a habit that was quite ingrained, and has been common practice among Newfrontiers’ pastors. One reason it works for me is that we now record each week’s preach on Thursday, ready to be shown at some sites on Sunday. I am aware that it does not suit everyone, as most Fridays many of us are focussed on getting ready for the coming Sunday, but for me it continues to be a very productive move. In fact, I have found it to be so beneficial that I have become quite an advocate for it.
After a year of working this new weekly pattern, these are my top five reflections:
1. Having Monday to work means that I am better prepared for the many meetings we have on Tuesday.
2. Friday is a better day for rest, as I have fewer interruptions.
3. Thursday night has become a more effective ‘finishing line’ (everybody needs these!) and, if we are not working Saturday, we get a two-day weekend.
4. Monday now starts with reading, prayer and sermon preparation, a great start to the week.
5. It has led to me feeling more tuned in to God. By starting my week with unhurried time for personal prayer and study, rather than a hectic day of meetings, I am noticing more prophetic leading.
These are all good steps forward for me. Finding and maintaining a healthy life balance is a constant challenge and is something we all need to review occasionally. Perhaps it is worth asking yourself if there are any adjustments you could make to your week which might have similar effects.
Posted by Steve Tibbert
Steve Tibbert leads King’s Church London, with sites in Catford, Downham and Lee. Over the past fifteen years the church has seen continued growth, both in size and diversity. Steve is also involved in Newfrontiers and regularly coaches other lead elders. His book, Good to Grow, was published in July 2011. He is married to Deb, and they have three sons.