4 Thoughts on Balancing Work and Family

a perfect balance between work and family: the ideal we’re all longing to someday experience, while secretly questioning if it’s even attainable. some say it’s a myth… and, while i’m not sure i’d go that far yet, i do think we at least have a goal to shoot for.


here are 4 thoughts on balancing work and family that i hope can add value to the discussion.

1. we have an opportunity to lead up here.

balancing work and family is generally not something senior leaders are great at. they’re fantastic at setting the bar in so many other areas, but this is usually not one of the strong ones. if you’re in any role in your organization other than the top dog, this is likely one of your best opportunities to lead up and set the example. over the course of time, as your colleagues become more fatigued and burnt out, you’ll seem refreshed and renewed on a continual basis. the change will be evident, and your influence will be noticed.

2. busyness doesn’t mean success; busyness means brokenness.

why are our to do lists always so full? why do we always have to bring our kids 4 different places in the same night? why do we rarely eat dinner together at the table anymore? why do we have to make that presentation not just adequate, but over the top? why do we feel we can’t leave the office when we promised we would? why can we not give ourselves a day off from the gym every now and then?

when we honestly dig into these questions, i think what we end up uncovering is often pretty dark. it’s incredible how much insecurity drives our behaviors and actions. we try to prove our value and worth by our achievements and accomplishments.

this is brokenness.

the nice thing about brokenness, though, is that someone else came to fix it. jesus came to give us worth and value. we don’t have to keep trying to earn it.

3. God calls those who won’t work “lazy”, but those who won’t rest “disobedient“.

thank you, perry noble, for this line.

how soon we forget that the sabbath (a 24 hour period of intentional rest, every 7 days) was one of the 10 commandments. it seems pretty significant to be included in God’s top 10 list. if you think of it, there’s a lot of details to consider when putting up parameters on human interaction, and yet God made sure this was one of them.

if we truly observed this ancient practice of sabbath, i think this discussion on balance wouldn’t come up quite so much.

4. it takes strong accountability to keep a temporary season from becoming a permanent situation.

we all have busy seasons where our engines have to hit some higher rpm’s than normal. the problem comes when the season turns into something longer. do we have people who regularly hold us accountable as we try to phase out of a series of red-lining weeks?

the perfect balance between work and family may not ever be truly found and perfectly sustained, but we can move towards it and stay closer in it with some intentionality.

what else would you add to this list?

Pastors and Depression

Perry Noble had all the markings of success—one of the largest and fastest growing churches in America and a great family—but as his inner world crumbled, he ending up feeling like he wanted to kill himself.

He tells an amazing story of how he overcame anxiety and depression to keep leading.

the above was taken from carey nieuwhof’s blog as he introduced an interview he ran on his brand new podcast. shanna and i listened to this together the other night and it gripped us from start to finish. i actually had a stack of copies of the mp3 burned onto cd’s and am giving them out to everyone around me.

if you’re a pastor, you’re gonna wanna hear this. 

you might not be struggling with depression right now, but your day is probably coming. don’t let your pride fool you into thinking you’re invincible.

grab the podcast here.

here’s some quotes from the interview I pulled from carey’s blog:

“People in the church will praise you for working yourself to death…until you’re in your coffin.”

“Leaders develop really unhealthy patterns and we call it leadership.”

“I wanted God to deliver me from depression. Instead, he delivered me through it.”


Why I Haven’t Blogged For 3 Months

it certainly has been a while!

here’s why…

1. our little man
the transition from a family of 3 to a family of 4 has been a little more intense than we thought. mini-coop (cooper) is now almost 9 months old and so much fun to be around. we are fortunate beyond comprehension to be able to parent him, and wouldn’t trade it for the world. his laugh is contagious when he really gets going. here’s some pics…

photo 3 photo 1 photo 5 photo 2-2 photo 4

2. job transition
right now i have one foot in student ministry at my church and one foot in adult ministry. i have been leading the search for lakeshore’s next youth pastor for a while now, and the plan is to have him in place before i fully transition to discipleship pastor. it has been a tiring process, but one filled with many God-moments and growth steps (for me and for the church).

3. small groups launch
the “one foot in adult ministry” is all related to small groups, and we’ve been working hard to get everything launched for this ministry year. i am beyond excited about the 34 new groups that have launched within the last few weeks, and the ones getting ready to launch later in the year. the leaders of each are top notch and committed to doing life with their group for the next year. if you have yet to join a group, you should check it out!

Books I’m (Still) in the Middle of Right Now

if i finished every book that i started i’d probably be a lot smarter. i am an expert at starting books… finishing them is a different story.  here are my top 3 books that i am still a long ways from finishing, but totally digging right now.


the next christians | seven ways you can live the gospel and restore the worldnext-christians2

by gabe lyons

this book covers how we can be…

  1. provoked, not offended
  2. creators, not critics
  3. called, not employed
  4. grounded, not distracted
  5. in community, not alone
  6. civil, not divisive
  7. countercultural, not relevant


strong fathers strong daughters | 10 secrets every father should knowstrong-fathers-strong-daughters

by meg meeker

such a good book. absolute must read for every dad of daughters, regardless of the age. i’m so thankful i was pointed to this book, and i feel like it’s going to be one on my shelf that i continually re-read. (but for now i’m just trying to get through it for the first time… slow down, cory)



20 and something | have the time of your life (and figure it all out too) 20 and something

by david kim (part of the barna group’s FRAMES)

this book has been FILLED with a ton of insight on today’s twentysomethings and the opportunities in front of the church as we seek to love on and minister to millennials.

Adelina’s Smile

here’s a picture shanna snagged of adelina yesterday. i love her smile soooooooooo much!


Progress Comes With Consistency Over Time

i have friends that are always going on cruises.
they like to talk about them before the trip… they post pictures while they’re on the trip… and they won’t shut up about it after the trip.
sometimes i feel like crowdfunding a one-way cruise for them to somewhere in the caribbean so they’ll never come back.


but then i remind myself that they’ve earned it.  they’ve paid their dues.  they’ve gone to work day in and day out, year after year. and now they’re in a season of life where they should be doing a lot of those kinds of things.
we always think (or maybe just hope) that we’ll get that call someday from publisher’s clearing house or that someday we’ll finally see our lottery numbers up on the tv during the evening news.  we get flyers in the mail with a plastic key taped to it, and we know… even though the odds of winning the car are 1:500,000… we just know it’s legit this time.  we long to find that quick fix to a broken marriage, or an overnight remedy to the dysfunctional relationship with our kids.  

we want all the benefits of retirement without first paying our dues.

but that’s now how life works.

i’ve been coming to the realization over the last decade that life is full of hard work.  i know… profound.  it’s the same thing your grandpa has been telling you since you were little.
progress in any area of life doesn’t come overnight, and it can’t be purchased in a fast-food lane.  it comes with a boat-load of consistency over time.  a steadfast resolve with a stubborn determination to never give up.
whether it’s…
  • working a job and showing up everyday
  • building a healthy ministry
  • saving for retirement
  • wooing the man/woman of your dreams to think more of you
  • building a solid marriage
  • nurturing a secure and stable relationship with your kids
  • building respect among your colleagues and partners
  • keeping your house clean
  • publishing your first book
  • or reaching a sobriety milestone

…it doesn’t happen overnight.

as we launch into the new year, are you ready to put your shoulders down and work hard towards a reality you won’t fully enjoy in these 12 months?

Random Life Updates

life has been very full these days, and as a result, my blogging time has been empty.  here’s a few random updates – 2 are big, and 1 is just fun to me.

baby number two is about to debut

any day now we should be racing to the hospital to welcome our little man into the world.  we are so thankful for this gift from God. i don’t know where you’re at or what you believe, but after seeing one new life come into the world, i don’t know how you can get to a place where you don’t believe in an intelligent designer who intentionally crafts and creates each of us. (but that’s for a different post)  i’m so excited to see who this little boy becomes and how God will use him to shape shanna, adelina, and myself.
when will it be??? who knows… God continues to teach me that i should give up trying to plan.  shanna does want this baby out though, that’s for sure!

ministry is all about transitions right now

this past fall lakeshore announced that we’re looking for a new youth pastor to replace me. i’ll be transitioning to the discipleship pastor role on staff once the hire is made to oversee our small group ministry and other discipleship/assimilation strategies.  i’m very excited about the move and i truly feel God’s call in that direction, although i hope i’ll always be a youth pastor at heart. i hope to never stop being a champion for students and hold to the belief that they are not the church of the future but the church of today.

Job Opening Graphic jpg

it has been so fun watching God build the team at lakeshore over the last 6 months, and i’m beyond excited to see who he puts in place in this position.  i’m looking forward to really being able to build into and do life with the next guy.  we are hoping and praying to have him in place by easter.
goodbye moleskine, hello ecosystem 
i love paper journals, but not just any. with these in particular i’m pretty picky. for the last few years i’ve been using moleskine. i love the simple design, their durability, the pocket in the back, and the enclosure strap.  but i’ve been using evernote more and more to try to go more paperless and save more notes electronically in the cloud.  moleskine doesn’t have any journals with perforated pages, which would be really nice for the journal notes that i want to make sure gets scanned and entered into evernote.  i totally drank michael hyatt’s koolaide on this, and am now using the ecosystem journals.  they have all the same features of the moleskines, but with perforated pages.  if you use evernote or want to have the freedom to tear out some of your journal pages, you should check them out!

A Heritage of Faith

For those of us who grew up with a rich heritage of faith, this verse is especially meaningful.  I ran across it this morning as I read through Psalm 71, and it reminded me of…
1) how blessed I am to have grown up in a Christian home with strong values consistent with God’s ideals
2) my responsibility to pass along these same values to my kids and the next generation

“Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.  Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”

(Psalm 71:17-18, NIV)

Parenting Advice From A Gum Wrapper

have you seen this?  there’s so much about this short commercial that i love…


Lakeshore’s First “Sent-Out” Missionary is in the Air

another great friend and ministry partner left our comfortable, suburban bubble this morning to serve the poor.  for me, today is a day filled with a number of different emotions.  we are obviously thrilled and excited, knowing the huge win this is for the kingdom of God and the work that He is doing around the world.  at the same, there are emotions of sadness and loss as we will miss his presence and influence here in our own “jerusalem”.

dan robillard accepted Christ a few years ago at lakeshore – he can tell you the exact spot he was sitting at in the auditorium when he made that decision.  before long, he jumped on serving teams and used his gifts, time, and resources to make a difference in our community.  while i am the “face” of our student ministry, for the last 5 years he has been the guy behind the scenes that consistently gets the work done, and i can’t remember a time when he wasn’t serving our students with a contagious amount of joy and humility.


right now, as i write this, he’s in nyc awaiting the big flight over the atlantic to johannesburg, south africa, and eventually on to dondo, mozambique.  when we briefly met yesterday, he told me that the only clothes he was bringing for himself fit in one carry-on.  the other two 50-lb. bags were filled with supplies to use and give away.  this is how this man lives.  he thinks so little of himself, and always of others.  i love it that lakeshore’s first “sent-out” missionary is of this caliber.

today might be a good day to consider your role in supporting dan’s ministry on an on-going basis.  shanna and i are personally part of his support team, and we welcome you to join us.   there are many great works around the world to invest in, and i want you to know that i believe in this one at the core of my being.

head over here to find out more.