I remember when I was graduating from College, guys would sign each other’s bibles “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Obviously we did that in jest knowing that the Lord’s Day would be anything but restful for ministry leaders. However, this does not negate the Lord’s principle of a day of rest, yet many ministry people find or take time to step away from the hustle for a day to reflect, replenish, and actually rest.
Many pastors and ministry leaders neglect their time off, vacations, three day weekends, and find themselves working long days serving the Lord in their ministry. We celebrate hard work, business, and even exhaustion. However the Lord does not. His command was simple: “Remember the Sabbath day” as a time to break away.
This time away is good for the ministry leader, their own spirit, their marriage and family, and good for the ministry they lead. Yet too often we find ourselves neglecting our day of rest because of the task at hand.
Often at pastor conferences, someone will speak on the need for rest for Christian leaders. Take your time off, time away, time with your spouse and family, they will say. This is so motivating and ministry leaders have the best of intentions, yet on the return home, the phone rings, the text comes, the messages at the office and we are back at it.
The demands of ministry will always be there. As leaders, we will do better when we learn the value of rest. Our marriage and family will be better. Our health will be better. Our productivity will be better when we are rested and able to address the task at hand.
For many of our church planters, the imbalance of work, ministry, and family is taxing. Our bi-vocational/co-vocational pastors work tirelessly to fulfill the call of God and provide for their families in the great work of God’s kingdom. I’m so thankful for them and the sacrifice they make to plant life-changing churches.
Let’s continue to pray for our church planting pastors! Let’s help them find balance in their life and ministry. Let’s stand for our church planters and pastors.
Matthew 11:28–30 (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Our identity is found in who we are and not what we do. All the hustle feeds our need for self worth. The Lord’s plan is different than that. We don’t have to earn favor for our relationship with Christ. It’s already provided. Jesus did it on the cross. We truly rest in Him!