Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"I've Worked my 40 Hours."

A friend tells of a ministry staffer of his explaining why he was not with some volunteers one night, "I've worked my 40 hours.".
He wanted to be home with his family and had done his job. First, if those of us in College any ministry think it is a 40 hour a week job, we are badly mis-led. Of course, I hear of College Ministers working 50, 60, 70 hours per week.

There is a story of one campus based College Minister, who to supplement his income, had begun to sell a product in one of the multi-level market programs and had multiple people under him. He got to the point he was driving a very expensive car and word was he was spending more time on it than his ministry. His supervisor told him he had to work "at least 40 hours a week". He quit.

I have confessed in a previous blog that I think I did not do right by my family in some times I worked and did not take some vacation time, etc. So, what is the right work/family/off time balance?

There is not a magic formula. But, if 40 hours is your limit, College Ministry is not for you! Another part of that is a College Minister spouse understanding that. A while back a friend who leads a very large College ministry was about to get married. He said to me, "What does she need to know?". He serves on a church staff and I said, "Have her talk to some of the other staff wives, so she will know some of what to expect.". A campus based College Minister shared with me the tension in his marriage due to his wife's expectation that he should be home at 5:00 every day. That just does not happen.

Some things to Consider, Understand, or Try:

-Work when you need to work, but make sure that some of those crazy times or hours is not due to your own sense of "nothing can happen without me.".

-When the college schedule is slower, you be slower.

-Realize lots of people (not in ministry) work more than 40 hours a week.

-When you have night obligations, schedule to go home at some point in the afternoon and then go to your night event. My daughters laugh at all the early times we had family supper and then I would go back to the campus. But, we had family supper.

-Don't expect volunteers to be somewhere or do something you are not willing to do. They have jobs, school, or families too!

-Try to have one weekday night that NOTHING is ever scheduled. For me and us, that was Tuesdays. That makes calendar planning a little simpler.

-Get your super organized friend to help you look at your regular weekly schedule and see where you are not utilizing your time to the best advantage which causes more work hours.

-You never want students to feel you are too busy to talk to them. But, there is a difference in their needing to talk to you and your just hanging out with them till midnight all the time. You are not a student who doesn't have a class till 11:00 a.m.

1 comment:

  1. It's always a challenge to find balance. I recently had a 40 year old alumna tell me what's an impact it had on her that she saw me choose to not be at select campus events. She claims she still reflects on that as she strives to find balance in her university work. We are modeling, as well.