Editor’s Note: We were talking about the “Parents” theme of this issue of Youth Leaders Only, and the thought that youth leaders and musicians share some of the same, umm, “unique conditions” in which we ourselves are trying to be good parents. We wondered if we could get a conversation rolling between several of our Team interlínc youthworkers and Team interlínc artist-musicians about this subject, including:
- Lecrae Artist Atlanta, GA
- Steve Taylor Artist Nashville, TN
- Rick Bundschuh Youthworker/Pastor Kauai Christian Fellowship, Poipu, HI
- Jeremy White Youthworker/Pastor Valley Church, Vacaville, CA
- Todd Pearage Youthworker Calvary Church, Souderton, PA
- Doug Ranck Youthworker Free Methodist Church, Santa Barbara, CA
What you’re about to read is part of that virtual conversation. There are some deep insights here, and some smirks that are too good to miss. Read on!
interlinc: Youth leaders and musicians don’t have normal “9-to-5” schedules. How do you work around your schedule in order to be a good dad to your kids?
Lecrae It’s all about prioritizing and reverse-engineering. I treat my family as a priority over work and outside obligations, which then governs how my weeks and months are laid out on the calendar. I tour a lot less than I could simply because I value the health of my family over whatever I might gain from doing more concerts. Some practical things I do in planning my weeks include consistently giving my wife a day off every week. My wife and my team know that the kids are my responsibility for that entire day, no matter what. I also commit to doing breakfast with my kids every morning, and devotionals with them every night when I’m home.
Todd Pearage I believe that the flexibility in my schedule has allowed me to be a “good dad” over the years. I have been able to attend my kids’ performances and honor celebrations at school as well as coach them in every sport they played. One of the cool opportunities has been including my kids in some very unique experiences. They’ve attended summer camps, winter retreats, and concerts that other kids their age were not attending. They also got to meet some of their heroes in Christian music. I was not always able to buy them the latest video game system or extravagant vacations, but they got to have dinner with KJ-52 and hang out with Tobymac.
Rick Bundschuh I found that my weird schedule actually worked as an advantage when the kids were young. I was around a lot in the morning. And since my wife also worked, we juggled our schedule so that we seldom had daycare. When the kids got older, I would yank them out of school from time to time to go with me to a conference or speaking commitment. Oh, and I insisted that I would work from home rather than a church office.
Steve Taylor Early in the morning isn’t always my favorite time of day, but it’s the one time I know nothing else is going on. So I’ve always been the one to drive our now teenage daughter to school; for some reason it’s easier to talk when we’re both looking through the windshield than when we’re sitting across from each other having a “talk.” We also try to schedule weekly daddy/daughter nights that typically involve going out to eat—she’s more talkative when there’s food involved—and although I often work nights, there’s usually one or two free nights a week.
Doug Ranck When the kids were still at home my short answer was to “bend and flex.” If I had an evening away from home, then I had “down” time scheduled in the late afternoon or morning and tried my best to choose time when they were around too. Taking at least one day off a week is important too. Although the kids are out are of the home now, I still want to take care of my marriage in the same way.
Jeremy White I am blessed to work in a ministry culture where both hard work and adequate rest are highly valued. I’ve worked in environments where that has not been the case, so I think it’s important — whether you work for a ministry that sets your parameters, or you have more autonomy over your own schedule — to make sure you are diligent about time management. Time is the one resource you can never get back once it’s spent. Finances can be recovered. Things can be replaced. But time can’t. Through the school of hard knocks that almost took me out of ministry, by God’s grace I’ve learned to say the magic word “NO” without feeling guilty.