Friday, January 23, 2009

Day Off

My first year at Grace I probably worked 12 hour days, Sunday thru Saturday, to try and get things going. I did not take off one Sunday and only took a few days off during the week and no vacation. This lasted for about eighteen months until in January of 2006 I hit a brick wall. What happened in those 18 months was absolutely amazing. The church found their way again and began to grow. We tried lots of new ministries (experiments) and some worked, and some did not. We built a solid foundation for a healthy, vital and strong church. Though in the midst of it, I was drained, spiritually and physically, and needed to recharge the batteries. I read a wonderful book by Gordon McDonald called, "Ordering Your Private World". I had been working so hard trying to help turn the church around I had allowed myself to develop some rather unhealthy eating habits and was not exercising like I needed. I really believe it was what I needed to do so that we might become a fruitful church again. I learned some valuable lessons during that time. One of the big ones was that pastors need a day off. I've been serving the church as a pastor for 10 years and I have tried different days of the week as a day off. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday? Never tried Tuesdays, don't know why. I finally settled on Fridays. It's always a good day to go to Neighbors for breakfast, ride bikes, go for walks and if we go seen our parents, we can leave on Thursday nights if we don't have meetings. A day off has greatly helped in dealing with stress and a time to find some release as I then approach the final touches on the sermon on Saturday. When was the last time you took a day off? Are you stressed, burned out, edgy and tired? If so, then take a personal day off and find your bearings. You will be a much happier and healthier person. And remember, to go in peace and go with God.

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