Thanks for the responses so far. I’m looking forward to more of your comments and conversations. This is my first time to enter the blogosphere so I’ll do my best to keep things fresh, uplifting, and encouraging. I’m blessed to work with the xxxchurch team and support their ministry!
The Energizer Bunny! You know the little pink bunny featured in the Energizer Battery commercials. It keeps, “going and going and going…” I have to admit, that is what I’ve been felt like lately. I’m not fuzzy and pink (I won’t even wear a pink shirt!), but I do run around a lot, beating the drum of the gospel, attempting to spread the love of Jesus to those I meet, as well as those under my care. It seems like I’m always “going and going and going and going…”
While this always being on the “go” and “doing the work of ministry” can make us pastors feel good, even invincible, the pace can, and ultimately will make us vulnerable. I know the rat race is easy to get sucked into, and the accolades, and compliments we receive for being seen as a “hard worker” helps to boost our morale for a little while but it’s really no way to live. There’s even something about always being needed, or wanted that is incredibly seductive. But we risk much when we are in a perpetual state of busyness, and activity even if it’s ministry. Its taken me the better part of my 14 years of being a pastor to finally understand the need for REST, RECREATION, and REJUVENATION.
The vulnerability occurs because porn, lust, fantasy, and masturbation all become the illegitimate escapes we start to rely on, sort of like a temporary “rest” just so that we can jump back into the fast lane again. We can even get by this way for a while, but eventually we’ll slip, crash, or burnout big time. If we’re LUCKY we’ll just get so physically depleted that we’ll get ill, and have to go to the hospital, or stay in bed for a week (gives us an excuse not to be busy!) But often it’s something uglier, and more devastating, like an affair, an encounter with a prostitute, a massage parlor, or perhaps more deviant porn; porn that you thought you would never look at.
So what do you do about it? How do we stop the constant “going”? I can tell you what I did recently. A couple of weekends ago my family and I enjoyed an incredible weekend in Park City, UT. Some dear Christian friends were kind enough to give us their luxury condo for the weekend located at Park City Mountain Resort. We had a blast and both my wife (Christina) and I came away feeling rested (I could see something different about my kids too). Now I know you can’t come to Park City, UT but the point is you have to break away at some point, and disconnect for the sake of your ministry, and perhaps your soul.
I read an article by Pastor Rick Warren recently called The Seven Foundations of Jesus Leadership he talks about taking time to RECHARGE. He suggests the following for pastors/leaders:
This is good counsel for pastors and church leaders since we have a tendency to get into an unhealthy cycle of work, work, and work, without any healthy diversions. So pull the batteries out of that pink bunny, stop beating the drum for a bit (even Jesus took time away) and stop for some REST!