“Take a Break”
I think that one of the healthiest things to do is to “take a break” – to simply stop what you are doing, realign, reflect and recalibrate! It is critical in ministry to “take a break.” In fact, even Jesus did. Matthew 14:23 tells us that Jesus “went up on the mountainside by himself to pray.” Jesus moved away from the crowds to prepare himself, pray and pause. If Jesus needed a break, then so do we!
Changing your position (where you are) often changes your perspective (where you can be)!
1. Teaching Sabbatical
This year I took a 4 week teaching sabbatical. It was the healthiest thing that I have ever done. It allowed me time to prepare emotionally for the future. Since that “break” we have experience growth on all levels. What did you do for those 4 weeks? We had 4 guest speakers – 2 live and 2 via video. It was amazing!
2. Ministry Sabbatical
I recommend that every full time pastor receive a 2-4 week sabbatical no less than every 5 years (in addition to vacation time). I plan on taking a ministry sabbatical in 2013. No office. No teaching. Simply a season to reflect, realign and recalibrate.
3. Weekly Sabbath
This one is hard for me. But God knew the pressure of life would intensify so he gave us a prescriptive – “Keep the sabbath day holy” = no work. Each week we all need time to breathe and take a break. As a pastor since 1995 I can tell you how vital this is to our personal spiritual, emotional, relational and physical health. I try and enjoy my day off with my family … try!
I have a confession to make. I am not superhuman. I need a breather and need it often. If I am not healthy in every area I will not be able to lead our church as effectively as I could.
“Healthy churches are led by healthy leaders.“