My friend Joy Canupp sent me this book when we announced our pregnancy back in August 2019, and as my husband and I are now a month in to life as new parents, this book has already given me so much to think about, pray about, and implement as our family grows. And with kids across the country at home this week from Covid-19 school closings, the book’s emphasis on quality family time is relevant for everyone.
It’s a nice, quick little read (not even 100 pages), but it’s full of encouragement and ideas for being intentional at home, even in the midst of the busy-ness. As a ministry leader, I know you know the challenge of balancing family and ministry, and this book had some great (but simple) ideas for creating lasting connections with your kids.
First, the book challenges our idea of “quality time,” helping us see that “time together is not the same as quality time together.” Sure, our kids may be at every ministry event with us, but that doesn’t mean the time spent there is quality time that feeds the relationships in our family, especially if we as leaders are doing what we’re supposed to do during that time: leading.
“Quality time is something different. It’s time with purpose. Time with focused attention.”
So the authors suggest creating “family board meetings” or “date days” with each child in your family. Each of these board meetings have 3 key characteristics: 1) getting one-on-one with your child, 2) unplugging from electronics/disconnecting from the rest of the world (that means you too, parents!), and 3) a fun activity with a focused time of reflection.
As a dual-ministry household (my husband is a full-time youth pastor, while I serve in children’s ministry and church administration), my husband and I are already trying to be intentional about creating quality time for our child and for each other, with help from the ideas and concepts from this book.
And if you have any advice for doing life and ministry as a new mom, I’d love to hear it!