Time to Refuel

One of the great principals of biblical faith is Sabbath.  We all know the commandment, “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.” (Ex 20:8)  Knowing what the commandment says and practicing it within our regular life pattern are two different things.  When I mention taking Sabbath to most worship pastors I receive a sighing response, usually accompanied by something like, “I try.”  I can relate to the reality that it is just tough to find time to push back, reflect on the holy, and rest.  Tough but absolutely necessary.  Sabbath and worship are intrinsically tied together.  I strongly encourage worship pastors to research that connection and to practice what we need to be preaching.

The end of Spring presents a shift in programming and routine for many if not most of our churches.  Schools are out, Summer vacations begin, VBS is upon us, etc., etc.  As you look at the Summer months I do hope you have plans to do some refueling!  I realize the cost of gas is high, but you can find spiritual retreat on your back patio if you will purpose and covenant to quiet the noise and position yourself for the Lord to speak.  Of course, if you can make it to the beach or a mountain hideaway, go for it.

I reserved this past weekend from responsibilities other than family.  I knew it was a holiday weekend and we were to attend a very special worship service at First Baptist Church Nashville for the dedication service for my son and wife’s youngest, our youngest grandchild.  I did not want to be in my usual rush to get in and out to another church service, or zooming out of town to rush to an appointment elsewhere.  We happily agreed to set the day aside to worship together as a family (and we did pack a pew – two pews in fact), and then to spend the afternoon relaxing with family at our son’s home.  It was a wonderful relaxing afternoon playing with grandchildren, following all of them to the community pool, visiting, eating.just being.  On the way home I commented to my wife that I did not realize how much I just needed a day like this.  She indicated she did realize it.  Touche` dear.  We decided we would extend the spirit to Monday and enjoyed a day at home watching memorial celebrations on television, playing with our oldest grandson in the yard and just being together again. It was wonderful.and rejuvenating.

I want to strongly encourage my brothers and sisters who serve in ministry to utilize opportunities this Summer to refuel.

o   Take time for your family!  Plan a family trip with the kind of attention to detail you use when planning ministry activities.  Serve and treat your loved ones to benefit from your skills and passions

o   Cook a meal once a week – or if you’re like me, just go ahead and grill

o   Spend the first hour of each day reading a book of personal devotion or theological significance

o   Schedule a day or two during the Summer just for you alone with the Lord

o   Consider visiting some sacred spaces in your region – don’t be in a hurry, but sit and pray in a liturgical space such as a church of another faith tradition, or possibly even in your own church setting, but without the crunch of thinking “what comes next,” but rather thinking and praying about what God might say through His Spirit to the people you love who gather for corporate worship there

o   Begin a spiritual discipline that has slipped during the busy seasons of the year – start a read the Bible through program, or develop a detail prayer list

o   Find out when your senior pastor will leave for his vacation and surprise him with an appropriate gift to encourage his recreation.  Include a prayer card for his nurture through rest as well

YOU CAN HELP ME THIS SUMMER!  I want to use my blog and enewsletter to convey some of your thinking and concern.  This will depend on YOU to respond.  I will end articles with a bait question for the next issue and with your permission will publish your compiled responses.  Note: this is not an original idea.  I am borrowing from a colleague, and have high hopes you will respond to help your brothers and sisters in similar positions to understand our common situations and encourage mutual prayer support as we minister in the Lord’s church.

The question for next week:

If you could be perfectly honest and transparent about your estimation of what happens in regular Sunday worship at your church, what would you tell your congregation about their level of enthusiastic participation in Sunday worship?

 

(All replies will be published anonymously unless requested otherwise)

Resting in Him,

Paul

Explore posts in the same categories: Church Music, Leading Worship, Private Worship, Singing Worship, Spiritual formation through singing, Worship Leaders, Worship Pastors, Worship Reminders, Worship theology, Worship thoughts, Youth Worship

2 Comments on “Time to Refuel”

  1. David Manner Says:

    Paul,

    Thanks for the reminder to take a sabbath. I am in the midst of reading Richard Foster’s book “Freedom of Simplicity.” Foster addresses the problem of our attempts to find satisfaction by acquiring more and more things, rarely achieving the desired end. Instead, more possessions clutter our lives and create more concerns. Some of those possessions could even mean doing more and more music and worship stuff, which is not necessarily a bad thing…unless it keeps us from ever taking a sabbath. According to Foster, the answer is to take our focus off ourselves and to work to satisfy the needs of others. As you stressed, our family should be the first recipients of that attention. To simplify our lives, he believes, is to find greater peace in a frenzied world. Paul, thanks for some great practical suggestions to jump start our thinking and focus in this area.

    • Paul Clark Jr Says:

      The book of Ecclesiastes comes to mind when reading your reply, David. Thanks for the reminder of Foster’s book.


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