balance - Photo by Marcelo Moreira from Pexels NEW

Last year, Singapore was ranked the second most overworked population in the world, after Hong Kong and well ahead of Tokyo, which came in sixth.

One in four Singapore workers clocked in 48-hour work weeks, more than the International Labour Organisation’s recommended 40 hours.

Last year, Singapore was ranked the second most overworked population in the world.

Don’t blame it on the pandemic and WFH, though. In 2019, before the world even heard of Covid, Singapore came in a sad 32nd out of 40 countries in terms of work-life balance.

Covid actually made things better. In 2021, Singapore’s work-life balance ranking improved to 18th out of 40 countries.

As we begin 2022, is yours the desire to give work, ministry and leisure its proper place in your life?

Project Director of AVODAH People Solutions Gerald Tan shares three tips on managing work, life and ministry.

AVODAH is a private career service provider. It offers career guidance to individuals and groups to support career decision-making through workshops and one-on-one programmes.

1. Understand the relationship of work, ministry and life

“We often see these three terms – work, ministry and life – as separate activities that we can choose to perform.

“Work is the output of what we do all the time to carry out a mission.”

“We need to understand them as actually inter-related and connected,” said Gerald.

Ministry is our mission which Gerald defines as “our purpose to serve others and be fruitful in all that we do”. Work is the output of what we do with our time. Life provides the currency of time that we use to channel our ministry into work.

Gerald’s perspective of work, life and ministry challenges the oft touted view of ministry as what we do for God, work as what we do to earn money and life as what is left for ourselves, with each component vying for our time and energy.

Work is more than our jobs. It is what we do with our lives to fulfil our ministry or mission. Graphics by Gerald Tan.

“If we understand the relationship amongst these three terms, we can start to see that work is not just a means to livelihood or limited to our jobs.

“Work is the output of what we do all the time, paid or unpaid in order to carry out a mission and a purpose.”

2. Integrate our ministry into our work

The term “ministry” refers to service and we are called to offer service in all areas of our life as work, said Gerald.

“As Christians, our service is commonly known as the Great Commission – to make disciples of nations.”

But making disciples is more than spreading the Gospel and planting churches.

“Ministry” refers to service and we are called to offer service in all areas of our life as work. 

“Making disciples of nations means addressing each nation’s cultural, social and economic development, helping them to improve, correct, refine, enhance and solve challenges and hardships faced in all segments of the society.”

That mission then becomes the glue that connects work, ministry and life.

“We need to embrace this mission to live it out through our work and our workplaces.  It can range from doing something as complex as finding a cure for the pandemic, to something as simple as making work processes better for your department.

“In the process of doing this, God’s name will be known for the excellence by which we display and exemplified through our work.”

3. Consider the appropriate ministry at the stage of your life

What we do for “ministry” may change over time.

“In life, we face different challenges and circumstances as we grow. At some points where we have less commitments and more time, ministry may seem to fit in.

“But when we are faced with more commitments and time becomes reduced, we may struggle to keep up with our ministry.

How can we use our abilities, experiences and talents to do something missional through our work?

“Change your mindsets of what ministry looks like and consider doing what is within your capacity and means.”

The form and impact of your ministry may fluctuate but Gerald encouraged that “the important thing is to consistently remember to live out your mission through your work”.

When viewed in this way, work, ministry and life are not elements to be balanced where, with better time management, each would be accorded the right priority and place.

Instead, they are integrated with life as a toolbox of abilities and talents with work as a platform to fulfil the Great Commission.

With this mind, how can we use our abilities, experiences and talents to do something missional through our work?

Salt&Light Family Night: I want to better balance work, life and ministry in 2022

The year 2022 is well upon us.

Have you made a resolution to do better and be better? Did you resolve to spend more time on family or ministry, and less time at work?

Now that Covid has blurred the lines of work, home and church with WFH and online services, what does work-life balance look like?

Is work-life balance even a thing or are workations (combining work and leisure by taking work to scenic spots) the new way to balance work and life? Should work, ministry and life even be in competition with each other? How does God want us to view them? 

Join hosts Alex Tee and Carol Loi, and the panellists as they weigh in on this topic.

Dates: January 25, 2022  

Time: 8.30pm-10pm

Cost:  Free

Register at: Pre-registration is required.

About the hosts:
Carol Loi is a digital literacy educator, and leadership and family coach. A John Maxwell Certified Trainer for leadership and communication skills, she is also the founder of Village Consultancy, an organisation dedicated to equipping families, educators and children to be leaders and influencers both online and offline.

Alex Tee is former banker turned home-schooling father and wannabe farmer. He has been married to Channy for over 12 years and they have three children aged 10, nine and seven. The deepest desire of their hearts is to prayerfully raise children to be part of a family who seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. He firmly believes in the power of a living, lifelong education, and enjoys studying and learning from nature that reflects the ingenious mind of the Creator.

About the organiser:
Salt&Light is an independent, non-profit Christian news and devotional website with a passion for kingdom unity, and a vision of inspiring faith to arise in the marketplace.

About the author

Christine Leow

Christine believes there is always a story waiting to be told, which led to a career in MediaCorp News. Her idea of a perfect day involves a big mug of tea, a bigger muffin and a good book.