A Sabbath Rest and A Spiritual Battlefield (My Plans for the Future)

BeachI am posting this article simultaneously on both Dad in the Middle and Kidmin1124 as this announcement affects both sites.  It is with both a heavy heart and an excited anticipation for what God has next for me and my family that I make this announcement.   After much reflection, even more prayers, and soliciting the advice of some godly men and women, I have come to conclusion that it is time for me to step away (or at least draw back significantly) for a season from my online ministry activities.  Allow me first to explain why, secondly to explain what my new plan is and finally to explain what I intend to do with this season in my life.

Over the last year or so, I have been dealing with some health issues related to my back.  While acknowledging my complicity in what led to the problems in the first place, numerous brothers and sisters in Christ have helped me to understand that these issues may very well have been some sort of spiritual attack resulting from my online ministry efforts to equip and encourage those who are dedicated to helping guide kids into the Kingdom of Christ.  Thanks to God, our great and heavenly Physician, those issues have largely passed now with only minor lingering issues.  Once those health issues were miraculously healed by God, I was able to spend more and more time with my wife and family, and God began to make something abundantly clear to me.  Where I thought I had achieved balance in all of my activities, I found that my life was actually way out of balance, and my family was suffering for it.  I began to sense/realize that my family was also likely under spiritual attack, and I had been largely ignorant of, and oblivious to, it.  Over the last several weeks, I have wrestled with whether or not stepping away constitutes giving in and giving up in the spiritual battle.  Through prayer and seeking the advice that I mentioned earlier, I am confident that stepping away, while not easy, is the right thing for this season of my life.  God ordained the family as an important part of His plan, and my first priority must always be to protect my family and to find the balance that will allow me to effectively minister while not sacrificing the long-term health of my family.  While I was initially hesitant about making this decision, God has through a series of events and circumstances made it abundantly clear to me that this is the appropriate, right and god-honoring decision for both me and my family at this time.

So, here is what I am planning to do and what you will see from me online.  I have been contributing articles to Ministry-to-Children.com.  Tony Kummer has been gracious in allowing me to reach a vast audience through his sight, and for that I am extremely grateful.  For now though, unless clearly prompted otherwise by God to write something, those articles will stop.  Dad in the Middle was where I first started writing online, and has really been the vehicle through which I have made a large number of great contacts in children’s ministry and otherwise.  It is near and dear to my heart, and has been a vehicle to process my thoughts and share them with an audience of readers.  I will miss is greatly, but my intention is to a break from writing there as well.  Some articles are already scheduled and those will continue.  If I feel prompted to write short articles from time to time about my kids or what is going on at church, I might do that depending on time availability – but you will not see new content very often on that site either – not nearly the 7+ articles per week that I have averaged for roughly the last couple of years.  I have already promised some people that I would review their books and other products on the site, and I will keep those obligations.  I may also post some additional reviews over time as I find it to be a great way to keep track of what I am reading.  That said, you will likely not see the type of in depth articles that I have enjoyed posting for the last several years during this time of Sabbath.  Most regrettably, I have decided to suspend the monthly Children’s Ministry Blog Patrol, which while it is one of my favorite features of the site, consumes an inordinate amount of time.

As for Kidmin1124, I fully believe in the mission of this site which is to build a community of people to help equip and support volunteers and those who lead them.  We have assembled an amazing team of gifted writers who I learn from almost every day.  In addition to writing for the site, I also serve as editor.  One of our writers, Jared Massey, has graciously agreed to step up and fill in as editor during this time.  Jared is an amazing guy with a passion for kids, and I have no doubt that he will do an amazing job in this role, and Kidmin1124.com will continue to tick along as a valuable resource for all volunteers and those who lead them.  Again, I may still write an article from time to time as led by God, but my activity will be significantly reduced.  For this time at least, you are more likely to find me in the comments to articles than writing them myself.  I am still working out the details with Jared, but you shouldn’t notice any significant change in Kidmin1124 with the possible exception of the weekly newsletter.  My plan is to continue to host the new 1 hour long Kidmin Volunteer Radio Program every other week.  We have just started this new opportunity, and want to follow through on that.

Lastly, I should address what I plan to do with all that extra time.  That is simple.  I am going to renew and refresh my relationship with God. I am going to pray more and read more and listen more to God.  I am going to seek him more fervently and pause to listen for his response.  I am going to hold my wife closer and kiss her more often.  I am going to find ways to woo her and show her just how much I love her.  I am going to play more games with my kids, read to them more often, and watch cartoons until I can’t stand it anymore.  I am going to fight my spiritual battle on the most important battlefield of all – that of my home and family.  My activity in the local church will continue as usual – perhaps even more fervently.  As with all the battles we face, I am grateful and confident knowing that I have the All Powerful Creator of All Things on my side.  If God is for me, who can be against me?

I am still very very passionate about reaching kids for the Kingdom of Christ and helping others do the same in whatever way I can.  That will not change – though the form that takes will be altered for a little while.  I will not drop our of sight entirely.  This community, and the people I have met, are too important to me for that.  Right now, I don’t know how long this Sabbath will rest, but I trust God will let me know when the right time to come back is.  For those who have read this far, I thank you for being a loyal reader, for being a friend and for motivating me to be the man that God created me to be.  Your continued prayers during this time will be greatly appreciated.

11 Comments

  1. Wayne let me be the first to congratulate and affirm your direction. Yes, I said congratulate! Through my years of ministry I have seen too many good men & women be consumed by the ministry set before them. The more you do, the more opportunities you will have, and it can become a never ending & always growing challenge. While your great presence will be sorely missed by the KidMin community, it would be nothing less than selfish to hope for you to continue at the expense of your family. God will honor that decision, and you will look back & be glad one day…and write about it when you have the time!
    Thanks for your contribution to the world of children's ministry, and to whatever you will continue to contribute in the days ahead. I pray your decision will be honored in ways you cannot imagine through the deepening of relationships with God, your wife, your kids and your church community.

    • Greg,

      Thanks you so much for your kind words of encouragement. While I don't intend to drop off entirely from the kidmin community, I am fairly certain that this time is ordained by God, and I know that He will honor it when we seek his will! Thanks again.

  2. Wayne, I affirm Greg's statement in congratulating you on your decision. I've found that it is harder to say no and step back from opportunities than it is to say yes. I will be praying for you in this season of ministry and look forward to seeing what God will do in you, your family and your ministry. May God bless you for taking this courageous step, and thank you for what you have and will continue to contribute to the kidmin world.

    • Henry,

      Thank you very much. I have found it hard to say no to good things for the sake of even better things. I think that is what God is teaching me through all of this. Thanks so much for your prayers. They mean the world to me.

  3. Wayne,

    Sounds to me like you're making a very God-honoring decision. Too many of us cling to work or ministry responsibilities that others are capable of fulfilling at the expense of responsibilities to our spouses and kids that God has UNIQUELY positioned us to fulfill. You're clearly walking the walk and not just talking the talk, and you're modeling for the families in your church and ministry leaders everywhere an understanding of Biblical priorities around work and family.

    FWIW, your passion for wanting to see kids come to know and love Jesus isn't going to go away. Maybe this time together with your wife and kids is God's way of preparing your family for the larger battles to come?

    Your wife and kids are very blessed. Our team will make a point of praying for you and your family tomorrow. Still hope to meet in person sometime soon when I'm in C-Bus.

    • Steve,

      Thank you. I sincere prayer is that God will use this time not only to strengthen my relationship with him, my wife and my family, but also to prepare me for even greater battles yet ahead. Thank you for your prayers and your kind words. We should definitely still meet up next time you are down this way.

  4. Bob Singleton |

    Rest well, my friend. Stay strong. Live for Him.

  5. Bob,

    Thanks!

  6. Great to read this, Wayne. And to know that you will burn on even more brightly – not burn out!
    I'll never forget what your encouragement and insight has meant to me and will continue to pray for you, in this new chapter of your life.
    I'll be back to Dad in the Middle to feast at the buffet you have laid out for us! Old Blog Patrols still have tons to offer us.
    Wishing you God's touch on you – spirit, soul and body.
    My recent post Frozen yet fragrant

  7. Wayne,

    Totally understand. I am sure this was hard for you. I appreciate your willingness to be obedient. Be blessed.

    • Sam,

      Somehow I missed your comment until now. Thanks for your kind words. It was a tough decision but has proven to be a God thing. I actually need to find some time to write and share what I have learned. Thanks again!

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