Ministry life means holidays look different for leaders and our families. You’re at church earlier (and later) than everyone else. Special meals and gift times are shifted to accommodate service times. The days surrounding a holiday are often filled with leading special events you’ve spent months planning. So this week’s guest blog post focuses on you, kidmin leader, and how to honor your family in the midst of a ministry holiday season. This week’s guest blog post comes from David Reneau of Lead Well Ministries, and he shares honestly about his experiences and lessons learned when it comes to celebrating Easter as a family when you’re in ministry… 

Imagine: it’s the Friday before Easter. You’ve been busy with all the marketing, event planning, service prep, and inviting. You’re probably a little tired and the light at the end of the tunnel that is Monday is looking closer and closer.

But you also have a family and obligations there too. If you’re like me, it’s far too easy to let work overtake the home. All the focus is on what the Church is doing, and your family gets the leftovers. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not fair to you.

What can you do? You can’t get out of Good Friday or Saturday’s Egg Hunt or Easter Sunday. It’s your job, and people are counting on you.

It’s a struggle and not one that I have perfected. If you asked my wife, she would say I have a long way to go. Regardless, here are 3 tips to celebrate Easter (or any holiday) while you’re in ministry.

1. Take a cue from the Service Industry

In ministry, it’s easy to take the “woe is me” mentality. You’re the only one who has to work on Easter, while everyone else gets to celebrate with their families, going to lunches and egg hunts all around. I’ve been there. And it wasn’t until I got out of my pity party that I realized I wasn’t alone.

Sales clerks, servers, chefs, amusement park workers, and so many more have to work on Easter and every other holiday just like us.

So, what do they do?

I worked at Sam’s Club for 18 months early in my career. I learned quickly that they celebrate all their holidays on a different day.

They celebrate Easter on Monday. Christmas Eve has moved to Christmas Day. Thanksgiving is breakfast instead of dinner.

Their weekends aren’t Saturday and Sunday. A lot of times it’s Monday and Tuesday or some other two non-consecutive days of the week. They work around the holidays because their jobs require them to serve on them.

We can do the same.

2. Be Creative

When I was growing up, we always went to my Great Aunt’s house for a giant Easter Egg Hunt and lunch with all the cousins. It was my favorite part of the day, especially since the day also meant I had to go to my Grandmother’s church that didn’t have a children’s ministry.

So boring.

When I got into ministry and moved away from home, getting back to my family for the holidays was nearly impossible.

So, my wife and I created our own traditions that have expanded with our kid. The weekend is filled with church events, but when all that’s over, we spend time together. For Easter, I like to take Monday off for family time and relaxation. We’ll do our own egg hunt on Sunday afternoon with just us. Instead of the huge Thanksgiving-like spread, we’ll do something simple like hamburgers.

It’s still special. It’s still memorable. And yes, it’s different.

Don’t be afraid to try different things at different times. Ask your family for input and see what they like and don’t like. You may find a new tradition that your kids will hold as dear as you hold yours.

3. Be Intentional

Last year, I moved to Macon, Georgia, which is only 2 hours away from my hometown. It was a busy Easter, but I invited my whole family over for Easter lunch. My wife is the rockstar for preparing the meal and hosting, and I was so thankful. It was the first time since pre-covid my whole family had been under the same roof.

This year is busier than ever, but we knew that if we wanted to see our family, we had to be intentional. We looked at our schedule and weighed our options to decide what would work best for us.

The point is to take time before all the craziness of the holiday season to plan out what you want to do. You most likely know what that holiday week is going to look like months in advance. Maybe not the finer details, but you will know the time commitments.

Set a time and commit. You may find that time together with family makes that light at the end of the tunnel just a little brighter.

Too many pastors have sacrificed their families on the altar of ministry. Don’t do that. Make your family a priority and set a time to celebrate with them. It may not be the same way or at the same time that everyone else does it, but that’s what living a life of service is all about.

How do you celebrate Easter with your family?

Author bio: David is a pastor in Macon, GA with his wife Liz and son Caleb. With over 15 years of experience in ministry, most of it in kids, he has developed a passion to help others lead in their churches well. He loves to talk about ministry, leadership, video games, and Star Wars. His goal is to develop an authentic faith in people that will last a lifetime. Find David’s resources on Deeper KidMin here and find more from David here

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