A church planting colleague once said to me, “I keep hearing about how we are supposed to be balanced. But I’m not sure I find the idea of ‘balance’ in the Bible, and I don’t think of myself as very balanced.” Church planters might agree with that. After all, planting a church normally means going from crisis to victory to crisis again. But somewhere in the equation, I think we’d all agree that we need to find a centered peace from God—one that keeps us on track and in perspective. I love the aspiration of Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Here’s an alliterative device that has helped me work toward balance: Divert Daily, Withdraw Weekly, Maintain Monthly, Abandon Annually. I picked that framework up somewhere, and I’ve customized it to work with my personal cadence. I try to Divert Daily through reading the Bible and praying. I Withdraw Weekly by at least taking a 24-hour period away from work. I (often) Maintain Monthly, by taking a retreat day, using A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants by Rueben Job and Norm Shawchuck (which really helps me turn down the RPMs), and I Abandon Annually by taking a long, unplugged vacation.
If you’re a bivocational church planter, balance can seem further out of reach, because you have less control of your schedule. But peace and perspective are there, and you need to find them. If you don’t already have a cadence that works for you, perhaps this device will be of help. God bless you as you find the peace that comes from Him!