Just came from a Couple’s retreat and got to spend some really good quality time with my wife discussing some things we need to do to strenghten our marriage. One of the take home lesson I got is the concept of logging on and logging off.
Pastoral work is tricky. It will never be a 9 to 5 job. I try to measure my work measuring the hours I give to ministry in a week. I really try my best to work within the 45 hours work week- from meetings, sermon preparation, leadership development, discipleship, counselling and doing office stuff. The tricky part is that when you I get home I tend to bring my work with me. The stress and pressures and ministry are still running in my mind even when I get home and when this usually happens – my wife and kids gets DADDY’S leftover energy.
To some extent I have improved in a skill called logging off. That means that the moment I step into our house, I automatically logged off from work. No more thinking about church stuff, management stuff, people in church stuff. I get to devote my undivided attention to my kids who usually wants me to play with them and my wife who wants to talk to me.
The secret to logging off is by having a discipline to log on first. What do I mean? When you go out of the house and step into your office or in the field – you should automatically log on – it means I give my very best in my workplace. I use my time in the office wisely. I prioritize what I need to do as a pastor. Work hard as if there is not tomorrow so that you could log off on time. A lot of pastors have a hard time logging off because they have never really logged in.