Recently, we caught up with Grace Oviedo Campus Pastor, Clint Harrison, to find out how he balances life, prioritizes personal wholeness, and strategizes for the year ahead.
Pastor Clint, it’s fair to say you have a lot on your plate! Marriage, four children, leading and shepherding a Grace campus – how do you balance it all?
That’s a great question. First of all, I don’t always balance it perfectly! But I would say, it’s a calling. I feel called to do what I’m doing, and that makes all the difference. There’s a book The Call by Oz Guinness, and he doesn’t just talk about ministry calls, but calls in general. He says that we are first called to a Person (Jesus), and when we make that our primary calling, everything else falls into place. And I would say that’s true for how I balance things. I have to put Jesus first, and then He orders the rest of my life. So finding wholeness – spiritually, financially, emotionally – is ultimately rooted in a Person. He directs and guides my day, my week, and my year. And when that takes place I’m able to carry what God calls me to carry and nothing more.
What has God taught you about personal wholeness in 2020?
The pandemic sent some awareness of the need to make my family a priority – spending time with them, going out with them, bike riding. Just the nation slowing down made me realize I need to focus on my family and really invest in them. And going hand-in-hand with that is trusting God with the church. There have been so many unknowns in this season, I’ve really had to trust that God is in control and rest in that.
On your journey toward wholeness, have you ever gone to counseling? What place should counseling have in the life of a Christian?
The first time I was a part of counseling personally was with my family growing up. We went for maybe three or four sessions. And it was one of those things where I was there as a child, and I knew it was important, but I don’t think I saw the value in it then. And it didn’t really fix anything in our family, and I don’t think our family actually gave it a real effort at the time.
However, over the years, I took a lot of counseling classes in seminary and really came to appreciate counseling, not just for others, but for myself personally. When Jeanne and I got engaged, we met with a professional Christian counselor for premarital counseling, and it was really good. He didn’t really give us marriage advice as much as he did just life advice. Jeanne and I have gotten counseling recently in the past two years, maybe six or eight times, and it has been incredibly helpful for our marriage and our parenting.
Do you set goals for the new year?
I do plan for the new year. I set goals spiritually, financially, for the home, for work — in all of those areas. I say that to say, I do think it’s important. One of the practices I’ve tried to develop in the last two years is to count every dollar. I’ve always had a budget, I’ve always paid attention to it loosely, and we’ve paid off debt – all that is important – but what I’ve tried to do now is account for every dollar. So every dollar is going toward something, whether it’s giving, spending, saving. The goal is to be intentional not willy-nilly. I’m actually thinking through, “How can I maximize my finances for the Lord, for my family, and for others?”
Spiritually, I try to think through spiritual disciplines. I write them down, pray about them, strategize so that I can actually implement them. Physically, I’m trying to eat healthier and work out three times a week. When it comes to getting healthy, I’ve found that you need to find what works, even if it costs you money. It’s worth the investment.
What advice do you have for others when it comes to setting goals?
A counselor once told me, prioritize your daily schedule according to what God has called you to. So start with commands, and then if you have leftover time for extra things, build those in. God tells me to take care of my family, to serve the church, to have a vocation, to exercise. If I’m not doing one or more of those things, I’m probably prioritizing lesser things. For example, God calls me to make disciples. So if I’m not making disciples, should I really be playing four hours of video games a day? Now if I’m discipling people and playing video games with them, okay. You’ve got to prioritize your schedule according to Scripture, not just according to what you think is right.
How do you deal with the disappointment of sometimes not meeting your goals?
Honestly, I just try my best and then don’t worry about it. It may be my temperament – I’ve never really been a perfectionist. The truth is if you’re just beginning to think about wellness and setting goals, the biggest thing I would say is that wholeness doesn’t happen overnight. It’s years in the making, walking with Jesus. And all along that journey, there’s so much grace. Grace for your failures, grace for your disappointments, grace to grow.