How Many Hours Do You Work?

I’m enjoying this time right now because as we approach Easter the responsibilities on my plate have subsided…for the moment.  In a few weeks things will pick up again and I’m actually anticipating a busy season before Summer is in full swing, which I’m okay with because I’m maintaining my hours.
A few weeks back Michael Hyatt (CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing) wrote about the consequences of a life out of balance.  In the article he shared his thoughts on what happens when we work too many hours.  You want to know what his limit was?  It was:
55 Hours A Week
When I first heard that number I thought to myself, that’s a high number, but then I began to count up the amount that I work in a week.  46 at the church doing youth ministry and then 4 hours for Marathon Youth Ministry blogging, speaking and writing for a total of 50 hours.  Am I happy with that?  Sure because I’m:

  • Constantly Communicating with my wife about when work will hit a busy season and giving her total power to say, “Work is taking over.” when she feels it’s taking over.
  • Maintaining Me Time which is non negotiable time that’s meant for bettering and maintaining my physical, spiritual and mental health.  This time is all about my time with God.
  • Keeping Record of what I do and when I should do it…basically keep a calendar. I’ll be honest I need to  review it more regularly, but it’s important to write down your weekly tasks and responsibilities because it bring clarity to the path you travel each week.

So I say for me 50 hours a week isn’t so bad as long as I don’t compromise family and my relationship with God.  Now I know I’m going to go over 50 during certain busy seasons (i.e. Christmas) but as long as I’m not maintaining more than 50 on a regular basis I should be fine.  But, I understand my responsibilities are going to be a little different from yours; therefore, how much you have to work could change.  But, regardless of what your number is it’s important to stay true to that number and evaluate how you are maintaining that commitment on a regular basis.

How many hours a week should a youth minister work?

How do you maintain a healthy work week?

How many hours a week do you work?

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  • Phil Bell says:

    Chris, Great stuff!

    It’s easy to get out of whack and unhealthy in ministry. If we are working “too many” hours, over time it can lead to burn-out. A good mentor of 30 years in ministry once told me to “shoot for 40 hours and your will end up at 50 with all the extra things that come up… Anything over 50 hours in ministry is probably not going to be a good use of your time…”


  • Phil, great advice and that’s something I’ve heard before. But I even have to wonder is 50 too much, I mean when you break it down that’s 10 hour days (if you work 5 days) which seems a little much. If you are going in at 8am that means going home at 6pm. What’s the best time to be home, especially if you have younger kids?

  • Tim says:

    Good post – Whether it’s right or wrong, I get frustrated when people say, keep it to 40 and let God … For me, it adds pressure and imbalance the other way.

  • Tim, I can understand the frustration because we all have different work environments. But with that said it can be very freeing to have a limit laid out. Where do you feel like it adds pressure? Does anyone feel the same way?

  • Phil Bell says:

    Chris, to answer your question: Mealtimes, bedtimes, and for me regular “Daddy-Daughter dates”. I try to be home at least 4 evenings a week with them and try to get home of lunch most days where possible…

  • Phil, I definitely feel that pressure. I know I might have made the situation black and white, but really it’s knowing when family wins and when work should win. The more we make those decisions and converse with our pastor and families, the easier it will be to navigate through those situations. Thanks for sharing, I’ll pray that the pressure subsides, it’s one part of our job that I struggle with from time to time.

  • Phil Bell says:

    Great stuff Chris. If you get a chance, check out my blog for a post I think you will resonate with…