Between the Words ... Pastor Jimâ€™s Perspectives on the Weekend Behind and the Week Yet to Come (September 2, 2019)
By Jim GarrettSeptember 2, 2019
Recharge Your Batteries
There are many different expectations of all of us as Christians – especially pastors and other leaders.
It is my understanding that the Biblical qualifications of a pastor are delineated in 1 Timothy 3:2-7 (NASB)
An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate,
prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or
pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one
who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with
all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how
will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will
not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And
he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not
fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
From this passage, I have surmised that the role of the pastor must begin within his own home. Another aspect of this is found in a phrase often quoted by a pastor-friend of mine in Alabama. He says, “You can lose your church and still keep your family; but if you ever lose your family, you stand at risk of losing your church as well.” I think there is great wisdom in those words. Because of this sentiment, I believe that the Christian leader must protect his family as well as himself by establishing limitations and guidelines that he will allow of others’ expectations upon himself and his family.
I think one of the difficulties I often face as a pastor is that I have difficulty in taking time-off. I simply get into the aspect where I want to be sure that I don’t miss anything God is doing at the church.
But we must realize that such is not healthy. We MUST take time to rest, to develop ourselves, and to let God be God in and around us. In fact, God commanded us to take a break; He told us we are to keep and honor every Sabbath. This means we are to take a day of rest every week.
There are probably many reasons we are told to rest. One is that God Himself set such an example before us when He rested on the seventh day of Creation. Another is that He specifically told us that we are to take every seventh day as a time of rest.
And again, He showed us with the example of supplying the Children of Israel with manna and yet, they were to collect only on the first six days of the week but leave untouched the seventh day’s supply; God would (and did) supply their need.
The pastor must be careful to set aside time for vacation and time alone with his family. Also, there must be time set aside for personal recreation, personal rest, family togetherness, and personal mental and emotional maintenance. And all of this is in addition to personal Bible Study, reading, and praying. Some have suggested that pastors should not factor those things into the equations, but I suggest that if the leader is not adequately concerned for his own family and well-being, he will not last long enough in life to be able to last long in ministry.
So yes, I am pleading for all of us to take time and rest our weary bones, rest our minds, relax in Him, and then move in Him.
On a Personal note:
Cheri and I took this past weekend off. It was the first time I have missed church in forever. It was personal time for the two of us, AND, it was my 61st birthday.
We road-tripped much of these few days, spent some time in Amish country with the camera in hand, and more than anything, just enjoyed being together.
We had all the grandchildren (but 1) over and grilled out hamburgers and hotdogs.
I even bought edible crickets for all the kids to try. (We’re always trying something – I teach them to be adventurous.)
But more than anything, we just relaxed and enjoyed.
So, I’m still learning.
After 61 years, I’m learning to relax and enjoy.
I am finding that it is an art.
But I am also finding that it is necessary.
Friends, Let’s take time to rest – and to enjoy this God-given journey called life.