My husband has a multichurch district. Each congregation has its own challenges and also great things going on. While I try to remember each church’s needs, it is very difficult to switch my attention from one congregation to another each Sabbath. What makes it even harder is that the congregations are not always aware that I (and certainly my husband!) have more than one thing going at a time. In what ways can I communicate this effectively without seeming uncaring?
Dear Juggling Helpmeet,
Without a doubt, ministering in a multichurch district comes with challenges. But first I want to affirm your sincere desire to meet these diverse congregational needs. It can be a real blessing to minister to unique individuals in varied church settings.
Several thoughts come to mind. Remember that you are human and that remembering every congregational need may simply not be possible. My husband and I keep a list of congregational needs that are categorized from “important” to “urgent.” This helps us prioritize the needs and provides us with a gentle reminder in case we forget the requests.
Another idea is to provide the multichurch district with a tentative activity schedule for each of your churches. Not only is it helpful for you and your husband, but it gives each congregation a visual reminder that you do have activities/ meetings at more than one church. You know the old saying: “Out of sight, out of mind.” When people have a tangible list in front of them, they seem to be more understanding of your family’s time management challenges.
And remember to include your family time on the calendar. Your church leaders should see these appointments as well, since they are making requests for your time. May God bless you and your husband as you continue the special challenge of ministering in a multichurch district!