Sabbath and Youth Ministry
Be careful to observe the Sabbath day just as the Lord your God has commanded you. You are to work and do all your tasks in six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. On that day you must not do any work, you, your son, your daughter, your male slave, your female slave, your ox, your donkey, any other animal, or the foreigner who lives with you, so that your male and female slaves, like yourself, may have rest.
Youth Ministry and the Sabbath
I understand as youth ministers how hard it is to take a sabbath. First, the sabbaths of many, if not all in our congregations is considered Sunday, the day we pastors do the most work. So, we need to look elsewhere to take a day off. The problem with taking another day off, is that people are working their jobs, and somewhat expect you to be working as well.
Your Sabbath is your holy day to recharge. It is to be set aside from regular youth work and regular types of ministry. Protect it, and your family by honoring this time. I’ve recently restarted working on practicing the sabbath with my wife. We’ve been reading through John, taking hikes, and doing things aside from staying around the house and when home, spending significant time in prayer. Set aside this time for you, your spouse and your family and take the spiritual lead of your family. Find the things that refresh you and your family the most… and do those. Try not to allow sports, etc dominate them.
Don’t Get Sucked in.
“Emergencies and Crisis” are bound to pop up. There may be an exception to it. But truthfully, your not that important. For instance, if you had a crisis and needed to leave the area to take care of family, someone else in your church would be doing that job, if not, you could find someone to do it from a nearby church while you were gone. Don’t be in contact with those things that will suck you in. Protect your sabbath by appointing others to do what needs to be done when your gone. Make sure your leadership team (and administrative staff) know what the plan is and how they are to handle your calls when you are gone.
Plan around it.
My first pastor broke me in on this Sabbath well. He always told me what day was his day off. This in turn helped me when I ran the college ministry to keep things off his desk that day and don’t bother him. It helped me help those other students who wanted to get a hold of him for trivial manners to hold it for another day. Be better than engaging your email, your blog, your facebook and your twitter when you should be engaging God and your family.
My wife tells me she periodically reads my blog. Now I’ve given her ammo to hold me accountable. Which is a good thing.
Who do you have to help you keep your sabbath holy???
This blog is being published on our sabbath this week… I’ve planned to have two blogs post on our sabbath by scheduling them in advance… we on the other hand… will be away.