Six weeks ago Matt and I did something we have never done before, we took a six week sabbatical. Our church is 15 years old and we have never taken 2 weeks back to back. At first I was thinking, this is a Matt thing, I’m not going to get off social media, when we’re in town I’m going to church, I don’t need to unplug as much as Matt. After the first two weeks I turned off all social media, went to C3 Church one time and realized I too needed to unplug. After just two weeks into the sabbatical I told Matt we should have done this years ago. But every time we heard a pastor talk about his sabbatical or taking extended time off I would think, “How can you be gone from church that long? What if somebody takes over, what if people leave, what if…………” What I realized is if our worst fear came true we would have been rested and healthier to handle whatever we had to.
Guess what – there was not a Coo, our attendance was strong and giving was up, while we were gone. Why? Because it is God’s church and not ours.
Matt and I want to be in this for the long haul. Ministry is a marathon not a sprint and you have to have times of rest. Isn’t that one of the commandments? Keep the Sabbath. I think it is interesting how we think if you don’t do all the other commandments it is sin, but if you don’t keep the Sabbath it’s ok. I think God knows how He made us and we need times of not creating, which is what Sabbath means – not create; to rest.
Daily – spend time with God, getting good rest, enjoying a meal together. (turning your cell phone off)
Weekly – take a Sabbath, a day where you rest, your body soul and mind.
Monthly or quarterly – plan a get away for over night.
Yearly – take a vacation where you’re not going, going, going the whole time but you also put in days or weeks of rests.
Let’s not run ourselves in the ground where we burnout, make bad decisions and have to come out of the game, and potentially lose all that is important to us. Let’s be proactive, have some times of rest, and enjoy life. And when our life is over we will hear, “Well done my good and faithful servant,”