Ever seen a plate spinner? These guys are amazing they somehow get these multiple plates spinning and are able to keep them going. Thats how I feel as a bi-vocational youth minister. It seems like every aspect of my life is a plate that I have to keep spinning. I’ve got plates for my ministry, my ‘other’ job, my college, my daughters, my wife, my friends, etc. It also never fails when I get one plate going smoothly another plate starts to wobble.
Because of that I feel like I’m constantly doing crisis management to keep those plates going. I think thats what its all about though! Kurt Johnston made a statement at SYMC 2013 that I will never forget and it absolutely applies to bi-vocational ministry. Kurt said “Balance is a myth.” What a bold statement! Isn’t it true though? If you do bi-vocational ministry you know that you can never fully balance all the things that make up this crazy life!
So once you get a plate spinning, lets say its your ministry plate, you get it spinning and going smoothly. Maybe you just got back from a mission trip and life is good! You had a great time there and students really got closer to Christ and everything is awesome. Your basking in the afterglow of the trip then whamo! Your ‘other’ job plate gets wobbly! Your boss is on you about finishing a project or you get back and you boss crawls all over you about taking so much time off for ministry related stuff. So you spend a little time focusing on that plate. You put in a little overtime, you help your boss out with a side project, and now you have that plate spinning smoothly. What a minute! Now your family plate is wobbling. Your daughter is made because you have to miss her soccer game for a youth trip. So you take her out on a daddy daughter date to make up, you eat at her favorite restaurant, and you get that plate spinning smooth.
Balance is a myth, its a constant struggle. What if we redefined ‘balance’. It’s not about everything running perfectly. It is however about keeping all the plates going.
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Bio: Kevin Patterson is currently serving as Minister to Students at Spring Bayou Baptist Church in Kevil, Kentucky. He currently attends Truett-McConnell College online and holds a certificate in youth ministry from YouthSphere. He is an ordained Southern Baptist minister and has been doing youth ministry for over 5 years. In addition to youth ministry, he works full time as a store manager and is a US Army combat veteran. In addition to MinistryPlace.net, you can read more from Kevin at his blog, www.lifeintheymfishbowl.blogspot.com.