A Pastor’s Sabbath: What to Do When Sabbath Is Sporadic

ChurchLeaders | 4/24/2019 | Staff
MijacMijac (Posted by) Level 3
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“You need to take some time off soon,” Donna said. She runs our HR department at the church.

“I know. I am not good at taking time off. I have never been,” I retorted.

Time - Something - Work - Homelife - Reality

Taking time off is not something that I despise. I love downtime. I don’t look for work just to stay busy, avoid homelife or to “escape” reality by feeling accomplishment. In fact, I have often said, I am not a workaholic—I just have a job that demands me to work all the time. And while the role of pastor never seems to end, it can be controlled and doesn’t have to take over our every-waking-moment. Being a pastor is what we do but it doesn’t also have to be who we are.

We have a family.


We have hobbies.

We like to read things that are not commentaries.


We like to hang out and laugh.

We need sleep.


We like really good food.

Pastors are real people too.

Email - Requests - Meetings - Months - Sermon

Maybe you have been where I often find myself—the email never stops, the requests for meetings could take you months to fulfill, there is always a sermon to write, a counseling session to prep and a person to call (among other things). In this role, there are always many people asking for our time and they are unaware of the other many people that are also asking for our time. So how are we to find rest in a world of demands that never seems to end?

First off, we have to remember the command is to “Watch over ourselves first”—and THEN the flock of God of which we have been given responsibility (Acts 20:28). If we are not healthy physically, spiritually and emotionally, then we will not be able to help people gain health either. God was clear through Paul—take care of yourself first. I can be terrible...
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