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Five Guidelines for Balancing Ministry and Marriage by Jordan & Angela McClinton

Twenty years ago this summer, we said "I do" to the "better," the "worse," and, unbeknownst to us at the time, to a whole lot of ministry together.


At present, I (Angela) serve as Executive Pastor at The Waters Church in Katy, Texas and as and Director of Development at TBS where I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 2018. I (Jordan) serve as Worship Pastor at The Waters Church, work a full-time corporate job, graduate this summer from TBS with a Master of Arts in Biblical History and Archaeology, and volunteer as an archaeologist with The Associates for Biblical Research. We have three very active daughters who are growing into amazing young adults, and our household includes a menagerie of pets.


Much of our marriage has been spent with both of us in ministry of some kind. We're often asked what it is like to do ministry together. Our answer: It's the best! We have the best jobs doing eternal work with our favorite person (each other).


Another question people ask is, "How do you make it work? Isn't it hard?"

Yes, sometimes, but also so worthwhile. Here are five guidelines we believe have helped us balance our lives and open us up to the Lord's blessing in our marriage and ministries.


1. HAVE EACH OTHER'S BACK

A common guideline for marriage in general, this is of utmost importance for couples deeply involved in serving together. Ministry's heavy burdens sometimes mean late night meetings, extra weekend responsibilities, or emergency pastoral care. At the drop of the hat, one of us may be called to help with bonus ministry or family responsibilities, and it helps when we accept these moments as opportunities to joyfully serve and unhesitatingly support one another.


2. A "YES" TO GOD IS WORTH IT

Following God's direction can sometimes prove unnerving. As a family, we made the decision early on to answer "Yes!" to the best of our ability when God asks. This has required joint trust, especially when our next step has not always seemed sensible by the world's standards. Two decades in, we are certain that life will always be full of challenges. Given a choice between facing challenges within His will or outside of it, we aim to pick within every time. Despite hard challenges, living out any "Yes!" to God is a remarkable adventure.


3. CELEBRATE THE ONE LEFT AT HOME

This one is tough to embrace and has taken us awhile to appreciate. With three kids, a good portion of our ministry has meant that when one of us is serving others outside of our home, the other is serving inside. At times, the one "left at home" has felt a bit unfulfilled. But, recognizing that seasons come and go, we believe that the support team at home is just as important as the ministry outside of it. We celebrate - out loud and in front of others - the beauty of investing in our family and serving our household.


4. ALLOW EACH TO MINISTER WITHIN THEIR OWN POWER

Allow each other to minister within their own power, publicly fight their own battles, and learn their own mistakes. As a husband and wife, we naturally want to protect and fight for each other when it comes to others hurting our feelings or attacking us. But we have both experienced the detrimental impact when one of us has tried to step in and remedy the other's situation. The situations typically get worse, and damage relationships with people that we lead. We can learn and grow from making our own mistakes, fighting our own battles, and solving our own problems. We've experienced more peace at home and in ministry when we act as each other's biggest fans rather than as rescuers, coaches, or advisors - especially when advice is not sought!


5. ALLOW CO-WORKING TO MAKE YOU BETTER SPOUSES Top leadership books encourage spiritual leaders to assume positive intent, listen more than speaking, and empower others with adequate and proper support. Working in ministry together provides us with

the door to giving our worst to each other at the end of long days. Realizing that our spouse deserves equal, if not more, respect and gentleness from each other has helped us become better co-workers and spouses.


ONE OF OUR BIGGEST BLESSINGS HAS BEEN THE BIBLE SEMINARY

I (Angela) started my journey at TBS in 2014 and (I) Jordan in 2018. TBS embraced each of us as individuals with our own unique calling and paths, but the professors and leadership also encouraged us to honor one another and our mutual calling over our individual ones. TBS has nurtured us individually AND encouraged and supported our family. We are so grateful for the training TBS provided that has helped make us better ministry partners and spouses!



Jordan and Angela McClinton Alumni of The Bible Seminary

Angela serves as Executive Pastor at The Waters Church in Katy, Texas and as and Director of Development at TBS where I graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in 2018. Jordan serves as Worship Pastor at The Waters Church, work a full-time corporate job, graduate this summer from TBS with a Master of Arts in Biblical History and Archaeology, and volunteer as an archaeologist with The Associates for Biblical Research.

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