“6 Questions with…” is an opportunity for women and girls everywhere to share something about their passions and lives. (It’s also a fantastic excuse for me to be really nosey and learn more about the incredible women I admire.)
This week I’m putting Hannah Tan in the hot seat. We first met back in 2016 via the wonders of Facebook Groups (thanks Melyssa Griffin) and since then I’ve seen her go from strength to strength. While we’ve never met face-to-face (New Zealand is a little far for a casual coffee), she’s been a huge inspiration to me in how we can use social media for good. She’s also the person who gets the credit for starting me on practicing gratitude, due to a Christmas present swap. I hope that this interview with her will inspire you as much as she has inspired me over the last four years!
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and where you come from. Paint a picture of yourself.
Kia ora! I’m Hannah, a blogger living in New Zealand. I’ve been writing for almost 4 years about running a small youth ministry as a volunteer, and I’m just about to wrap up that journey to jump into our next adventure- homeschooling! My hubby is a nurse and we have three boys that keep our hands and hearts full.
2) Living in New Zealand is a dream for many Brits who would love to just visit. What is it really like living in the country that Lord of the Rings was filmed in?
Like anywhere there’s pros and cons. I don’t love how expensive and difficult travel can be (unlike Europe where you can jump on a train and be in a different country in an hour) but in saying that I do love that we have such stunning vistas only a few hours drive away. I also love that in general, it feels spacious and uncluttered and honestly I can’t imagine living anywhere else!
3) You never set out to run a youth ministry yet you’ve now run a successful group, blogged about it and even written books. What has surprised you the most about this journey?
Youth ministry had always been my hubby’s passion and something that I was never interested in. But when he said he wanted to get involved, I had a choice – either jump in and support him or do my own thing. We were newly married and wanted to do something together, so I took the plunge. What surprised me the most was that I actually loved it!
4) You’re a self-confessed Pinterest addict, to the extent that you helped me sort out my account. What is your top tip for using Pinterest in ministry?
Pinterest is such a great resource and I just seem to ‘get it’! If you’re in ministry as a blogger, then have a range of images for each post that you can pin, and make sure that you add keywords to the alt text. If you’re in ministry but not a blogger, have a few different boards you pin to (or just one board with sections) and edit the pin descriptions to help you remember three months later why you saved that pin.
5) You set up a successful youth ministry and then taken a back seat to focus on your family. You also wrote and edited tansquaredyouthministry.com for several years. How do you balance finding time to rest, spend time with God, run a blog, homeschool your kids, and be with your husband?
Honestly, I don’t balance it at all. The dishes sit on the bench for days and the current laundry pile has been on the chair for three weeks. My bible and bible studies live on the sofa now and I pick them up when I have a few minutes to myself. The blog went untouched for three whole months in 2019 and today was the first time since August that my hubby and I got to go out for coffee together. But this season is like that and I’m trying to prioritise the relationships because the to-do list is always going to be there.
6) Your faith as a Christian is clearly a big motivation in every aspect of your life. What is your top tip for keeping your faith a priority when you’re balancing different responsibilities and projects?
I don’t actually view my faith as a priority but as a lifestyle. It’s something that is part of me that those responsibilities and projects fit around, rather than the other way, if that makes sense. For example, something I have been working on recently is being content where I am while still having those dreams for my future. Not living in a ‘one day when..’ mindset but enjoying the season God has me in right now.