I think that one of the healthiest things to do is to hit the pause button on life – to simply stop what you are doing, realign, reflect and recalibrate! It is critical in ministry to come up for air. 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 Pause
There are times in ministry, as a pastor, that you should pause from preaching. This is challenging for me because I love to speak. But just because you love something that does not mean you should do it without taking a break. Professional athletes don’t perform year round – their bodies could not handle it. And pastors should not preach year around – their emotions cannot handle it. Take 2 weeks off. Invite guest speakers. Pause.
2. Weekly Pause
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!
3. Family Vacations
I did not grow up with family vacations. From time to time we would go on a local camping trip, but nothing really major. Mary has taught me to love vacation and to take that time and invest in my family. In fact, that’s what I am doing now … pausing … so my wife and kids can know that they are still my priority. We have been having a blast! From Disney to Monster Trucks to Alligators to Aquariums to beaches …
I have a confession to make. I am not superhuman. I need a breather and need it often – and I really needed it. One of the greatest things that I can do for Church Unleashed is STOP doing ministry and ENJOY my family.
“Healthy churches are always led by healthy leaders.” Healthy leaders will know when hit the PAUSE button. I did.