Today I find myself in the middle of a two week ‘vacation’ before I start at Allison Park Church. The last few weeks have just been crazy, so it’s definitely nice to get a break. Yesterday I went to the Assemblies of God Day at Kennywood Park. It was relaxing and I got a nice ‘tan’ (actually a lot of red not so much tan). Today I’m heading off to Pontiac, MI to visit a good friend, Bobby Hawk. He planted Pontiac Family Worship Center in 2003. I was privileged enough to be on a launch team from CBC that came in a helped with the first summer that year. I always enjoy going up there and hanging out with Bobby and seeing how things are progressing.
With that said, though, pastors are horrible at relaxing. I think it’s because so many perceive ministers as ‘being lazy.” After all, “we only do one thing (preach) and it takes us all week to do that one thing.” Consequently, we try to over compensate for that by working ourselves to death. Some stats I’ve read here and here would suggest that burnout is a huge problem with ministers today. We do have an incredible responsibility to communicate the great message of Jesus Christ, but we can’t do that if we’re not on our game.
In Mark 2:27, Jesus says that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
As pastors how much more should we be obedient to the command of God to take a Sabbath! It seems that many in the church think there’s something wrong or sinful with taking breaks! Take a day off-or worse, take two days off! I know it’s a revolutionary thought, but maybe our bodies aren’t machines. Maybe we’re not superhuman. I know we all would like to think we’re hard workers that don’t need rest. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Pastors are some of the hardest working people I know. But when we don’t take a Sabbath we always fall short of our potential. Those we’re leading are depending on us being well rested and at our best. Take a break this week. Take up a hobby. Enjoy God’s creation. Spend time with your family. Do something that has nothing to do with your ministry, because I promise it will actually be the best thing you’ve ever done for your ministry.