“Your walk with God, family life, and ministry must be in biblical balance.”
This is Principle #10 of twelve in Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) training materials, and it reminds us, lay people included, to always stay in balance.
Even if you’re not a church planter, you can benefit from applying this principle: Again, it applies to every servant of Christ, not just church planters.
Your walk with God is the wellspring for everything else. From your intimate connection to Jesus comes vision, unique strategies for reaching the community, and the spiritual power to share Christ’s love in a transforming way.
Here are some specifics of how a Christian can apply that principle to his or her everyday life:
#1 – If you neglect the care of your own soul, you will end up starving yourself and those around you. You must “feed yourself” from God’s Word before you ever attempt to feed and help others.
#2 – Cultivate a close walk with God. There is no substitute for daily intimate fellowship with Christ.
#3 – Disciplines of prayer and Bible study, of learning to wait on God and listen for His guidance, of fasting and solitude—all these will strengthen you and enable you to walk forward in faith and perseverance.
In Crazy Love Francis Chan says, “The greatest good on this earth is God. Period. God’s one goal for us is himself.”
Balance also demands that you recognize that God has established the family as the foundation of society and as an institution that predates even the church. The family is God’s proving ground and the first priority for every follower of Christ. Obedience requires sacrifice and commitment on everyone’s part: husband, wife, and children. Make sure that you don’t overwork and neglect your family or your walk with God. Your family will always be your first ministry. Though there will be sacrifice, they must never be taken for granted or ignored along the way.
“So what do I do if my life is already out of balance? Here are some suggestions:
First, get away by going on a vacation and get some rest. Everyone needs time to refuel not only spiritually but also physically and emotionally.
Second, deal with any sin issues present in your life. Confess and ask God to enable you to overcome. Proverbs 28:13 makes it clear that “the one who confesses and renounces them (their sins) finds mercy.
Third, share your situation with a trusted friend. You need someone in your life with whom you can be totally transparent, and when others walk out they step in to be there for you.
In addition to this principle of balance, the DCPI’s Barnabas Principle should closely follow. This is principle #6, and it says, “Every church planter needs a mentor. A mentor is someone who has been where you want to go and is willing to help you get there.”
If you’re a child of God, you need a trusted source in which to confide in and receive godly counsel. So where and how do you find one?
Pray. Seek out leaders who have been where you want to go and are willing to help you get there. Look for someone who can commit at least a few hours each month for an extended period of time
A mentor brings wisdom, protection, care, resources, networking, support, accountability, and prayer. Most of the leadership training in God’s Word occurred in mentoring relationships.
Moses mentored Joshua.
Elijah mentored Elisha.
Barnabas mentored the Apostle Paul.
Before he became Timothy’s mentor Paul needed to be Barnabas’ protégé. When Barnabas discovered that the new church in Antioch was in great need of leadership he remembered Saul. It was a long hard journey from Antioch to Tarsus, but Barnabas was willing to make that journey to recruit Saul as his protégé and as a teacher for the new church in Antioch.
Balance demands that we attend to our own souls, care for our families then work hard and smart in the ministry. We cannot expect others to do this for us, but we must be self-starters because there is no time clock to punch and usually no one to monitor our weekly schedule in the areas of Bible study or family time.
We must be people of integrity so we will have the reputation of being a hard and persevering worker as well as a humble follower of Christ and a loving and attentive family leader.