LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

The 30-Night Rule

Priorities

There are six big areas that pull on my time.

  1. I want to spend time with my wife.
  2. I want to spend quantity time with my kids at a very important time in their life.
  3. I want to lead our staff well and do my job with integrity.
  4. I want to learn from other church leaders (conferences, visit other churches)
  5. I want to resource other church leaders (teach).
  6. I want to write.

All of these things are good. All of them are important. And there is a dynamic tension which exists in trying to juggle all of these priorities. I've seen leaders mess up.

  • Some sacrifice their marriage for their job.
  • Some sacrifice their kids.
  • Some leaders get on the teaching circuit and stop learning. They spend all their travel time teaching and no longer take time to sit at someone else's feet and learn.

I want to avoid all these extremes.

I've been tracking my travel schedule for a couple years. In 2006 I spent 37 nights away from Faith. In 2007 it increased to 45 nights.

That is too many. This year it is coming down. I've decided to spend no more than 30 nights away from my wife in 2008.

Oh, you should know I realize the 30 night rule is not in the Bible. It's just what is right for me and my family right now. Others may draw the line at a different place. Mark Batterson is also committed to 30 nights. Craig Groeschel limits his travel to around 12 nights a year. I don't think the number is the point--the fact that you give it some thought and get some input is important.

Where do you draw the line?