In the demanding role of church leadership, finding moments of true rest and rejuvenation is crucial. With 90% of pastors reporting that they work between 55 to 75 hours per week and feel fatigued and worn out every week, the need for rest is as important as ever.
One essential practice for rest is setting aside a specific day for Sabbath. By designating a dedicated day, leaders can create a boundary that separates work from rest, allowing them to recharge physically, spiritually, and mentally.
So the question becomes, how do church leaders find Sabbath rest today? The following are seven ingredients that will help you establish a regular practice of rest:
Choose a day of the week that works for you and commit to observing Sabbath rest on that day. By designating a dedicated day, leaders can create a boundary that separates work from rest, allowing them to recharge both physically and spiritually.
To make the most of this sacred day, it’s important to prepare ahead of time. This might involve delegating responsibilities or finishing essential tasks to ensure a worry-free Sabbath experience. Plan your work and responsibilities ahead of time so that you can fully rest on the Sabbath day. This includes finishing up work projects, grocery shopping, and other errands.
In our digitally-driven age, it’s tempting to remain constantly connected but to truly embrace Sabbath rest, leaders should unplug from technology. By disconnecting from screens and notifications, they can foster a deeper connection with their inner selves and with the Divine. Turn off your phone, computer, and other devices to disconnect from the constant notifications and distractions.
Take time to pray, read the Bible, and worship God. Attend church services or participate in a small group Bible study. Sabbath is an ideal opportunity to prioritize spiritual nourishment. Spending quality time in prayer and worship can bring clarity and renewed purpose to a church leader’s life.
Moreover, Sabbath is a chance to reconnect with loved ones. Leaders should prioritize spending time with family and friends, deepening these relationships, and finding joy in their company. Use the Sabbath day to connect with loved ones. Spend time together without the distraction of technology or work.
Rest and relaxation should be at the forefront of the day. Whether it’s taking a leisurely stroll, reading a good book, or simply taking a nap, Sabbath offers a reprieve from the busyness of life. Take time to figure out what rest and relaxation look like for you, then prioritize those things on this day.
Lastly, practicing gratitude can transform the Sabbath experience. Church leaders can reflect on the blessings in their lives, fostering a sense of contentment and perspective that can carry over into their ministry. In embracing these practices, church leaders can find the rest they need to continue serving their congregations with renewed vigor and spiritual vitality.
Remember, Sabbath rest is not a legalistic obligation; it is a gift and an essential part of our spiritual and physical well-being. It’s also a major factor in developing longevity in ministry. May you embrace this gift and find rest and renewal.