Who me? Juggle? Juggle? Juggle? No problem!
August 9, 2005
Do you know how to juggle?
What if you were asked to juggle 20 different things and expected not to drop anything and your job depended on your success? How would that make you feel? There would be enormous pressure on you to perform. That’s exactly how those in ministry feel. They are expected to be the master of everything they touch while not dropping a single thing along the way. They are expected to minister to perfection while enormous pressures and expectations are heaped on them. This not only affects them personally, but it also affects their family life and marriage.
The Minister’s Juggling Act is a retreat for ministers and their spouses to get away and refocus on their main priorities. It’s a casual time for those in ministry to be ministered to instead of ministering. It’s a chance for them to relax, be themselves, and to reconnect with their spouses. We laugh a lot, have uplifting times of worship, and also have practical teaching on issues such as family, priorities, and time management. Bottom line, it’s a chance for those who attend to stop juggling the demands of ministry and rest awhile.
We have had two retreats and they have all sold out with waiting lists each time. The response has been overwhelming! The next retreat is scheduled in the fall of 2005 at Chateau on the Lake in Branson. This has been the site of each of our events and it’s absolutely beautiful. We are currently working on at least two more retreats for 2006.
Let me share with you some of the testimonies we’ve received from attendees:
• “If your goal was to provide relaxation, renewal and refreshment to encourage us, you did a great job!!”
• “My wife and I are leaving revived and equipped to better minister to family and church.”
• “We were blessed by the wonderful surroundings, the slow, easy pace, the great music and uplifting message.”
• “Liked having time with my wife…this is the best pastor’s conference I’ve been to.”
• “The time to relax and focus on priorities was great.”
• “We enjoyed the time we spent together away from stress.”
• “We loved our date night!”
• “We are leaving extremely encouraged and energized.”
You may be saying, “Yeah Joe, I know those in ministry are busy, but aren’t we all?” Let me share with you some specific statistics of family life for those in ministry: Eighty percent of those in ministry say that the ministry has negatively impacted their family life; 81 percent say they spend insufficient time with their spouses; 64 percent indicate they have communication problems with their spouses; 53 percent say there are significant issues/problems with their children; and 33 percent say ministry is a hazard to their marriage.
I kept hearing the same thing from ministers, “How do you keep a balance between ministry and family?” The Lord kept this question burning in my heart and He then led me to write, The Ministry Juggling Act…Keeping A Balance Between Ministry & Family. I believe the biggest impact I can have for our churches in Missouri is to encourage and help refresh our ministers and their families. When a minister is strengthened, refreshed, encouraged, and loved on, they will ultimately carry that back to their church and impact their members.
The goal and vision for the Minister’s Juggling Act Retreat is to provide refreshment in various ways; an opportunity to unwind, quality down time away with your spouse, time alone with God, and fellowship with others in ministry. The focus isn’t about something you can take back to your church, but something for YOU personally –and as a couple. We want to invest in – and give to – our ministers and their families.
I want to encourage you to give to the Missouri Missions Offering. By doing so, you will be enabling this all-important retreat to grow and reach more ministers. Your gift will make an investment in ministers lives, their families, and ultimately in our churches. Healthy ministers, staff, and spouses grow healthy churches. Our ministers are always giving to us. Now let’s give back to them! Thank you for investing in our ministers and their families by giving to the Missouri Missions Offering. (Joe Ulveling is the family ministries specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention.)