Practical Help for Church Leaders Dealing with Home Life Pressures with Michelle Leichty
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Thanks for joining in to this week’s episode of the unSeminary podcast. I’m excited to be talking with Michelle Leichty, the Communication Director at Covenant Church in Indiana.
For many church leaders, managing their homes and serving in ministry has been especially challenging to balance during the pandemic. Shifting back and forth between work burdens and home burdens is stressful and can leave people feeling like a failure at home. Listen in as Michelle shares how you can address your biggest pain point at home and develop a system to deal with the pressures.
- Identify the biggest pain point. // Like other church staff, Michelle found her role as the Communication Director become much busier and more demanding during the pandemic. In her search for managing both her work and home life well, Michelle began by reflecting on what her biggest pain point at home was. For Michelle it was planning and preparing meals, but for another person it could be maintaining the yard, doing laundry, or cleaning.
- Brainstorm solutions. // After identifying your one biggest pain point at home, write down what the current process is for taking care of it. Think about what you could do differently. Brainstorm solutions, ask other people for ideas, and experiment with ways it could be handled differently. We document and systematize in our work life all of the time, so why not do it at home?
- Make a plan. // In these situations, it’s easy to feel like you’re failing at home because you aren’t getting the same regular or positive feedback that you might at work after a job well done. Begin by focusing on just one thing at a time in this process. Set aside time one evening or weekend to make a plan for the coming week. Michelle, for example, planned out her meals for the week, made her grocery list, and did her grocery shopping. She also prints a calendar for every month with meals for the upcoming week written on it. The calendar then is attached to the fridge so everyone in her family can see what the plan is.
- Experiment with new rhythms. // When the pandemic first started, Michelle felt really burned out with her increased work responsibilities, so she decided to try some new things at home around meals. This led to having her four children and husband each take a night to make dinner. Michelle still planned the meals, laid out the recipes, pointed out the ingredients, and then told the kids to start 60 minutes ahead of their dinner time, leaving the rest in their hands. This process freed up Michelle to stop and take a walk after work and clear her head before engaging with the family at dinner. Experiment with changes in different areas of your life. Even if they don’t work out, that’s ok. What works for one family may not work for yours. Try a new rhythm and experiment with the changes until you find something that works for you. It’s ok to set boundaries around your family so that they aren’t being sacrificed on the altar of ministry.
- Transition is hard. // No matter what type of change you are facing in life—whether it’s because of COVID, a new job, a new baby, etc.—the transition is hard. Change can be good, but the transition can be really difficult for you and your family. It’s important to process the change and grieve what you’re leaving behind, whatever that is. Maintaining systems during change can add some normalcy and stability while transitioning to something new.
- Find the rhythms. // Different seasons of life call for different rhythms at home. A newly married couple will have different rhythms than an empty nester couple or a single person or a couple with young children. It’s ok to change what worked before that isn’t working now. Start small by thinking through one pain point and changing just one thing at a time.
You can learn more about Covenant Church at www.covenantepc.org and download this document Michelle has provided to help work through developing new rhythms at home.
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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Red Letter Challenge
One of the best times of the year to start an all-in church series is the Sunday right after Easter. The team at Red Letter Challenge have become the 40-day church series experts…they created not only a 40-day church series, but offer unique daily challenges as well for everyone in your church to complete. It’s a fun, amazing time and many people take steps towards Jesus! Pastors, grab your free 40-day challenge book here and see what your church can do!