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How can a pastor of a small church create healthy boundaries to protect personal and family time?

As a small church pastor, balancing the demands of personal, family, and ministry responsibilities is a constant challenge. I have discovered that creating healthy boundaries for family and personal life makes me a better pastor, husband, and person. Let me suggest three strategies that have worked for me.

1. Divide each day into thirds.

Years ago I started dividing my workdays into three parts—morning, afternoon, and evening. This plan involves working two-thirds of the day, and using the other third for family and personal needs. Usually I spend the morning on ministry work. If I have a meeting that evening, I schedule time in the afternoon to pick up the girls from school or participate in an after-school activity. Before I head back to church that evening, our family eats dinner together. Of course, that schedule doesn't always work out, but by intentionally planning for at least one-third of my day for family I am able to give them the attention and love they need from me.

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