Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Rest, Relaxation and Recreation

I'm tired this morning. I've been tired all week. And things appear to be getting busier. I think that's par for the course for pastors--and it's a peculiar joy to be able to give yourself to labor with eternal reward! But I'm still tired.

So, here's my question for fellow pastors... what do you do to rest? How do you keep things in balance?

Here's my question for non-pastors... what do you do to rest? How do you encourage your pastors to rest and maintain a good pace/balance?


Anonymous said...

My brother, I'm way too tired myself to give advice on this one. They say the "spirit is willing but the flesh is weak." Well, sometimes the spirit is whipped, beaten and spent. Misery doesn't love company though so I'll pray for you. Hopefully, you'll get useful aid elsewhere. As for me, I'll just look to the sky and pray it doesn't rain...or should I pray for rain? Hmmm.

If it's any consolation though, next week is coming soon. :-) So in all things, give thanks.

Joe said...

For both balance and rest I spend time with my family. It doesn't really matter what we do as long as I do it without talking on the cell phone or holding a book. There is something thoroughly restful about talking to my wife, wrestling with my 2 and 4 year olds, or just holding my 1 year old. It also reminds me that God has given me much greater blessings than my library.

Shawn Abigail said...

Spent time with my wife and children.

Read fiction.

Play computer games.

Help with some open source software development.

But realistically I don't have a lot of free time if you include reading serious books, work with the local homeschool association, writing for Christian magazines, etc.

erik raymond said...

I like to dream about living on a tropical island...wait, that's where you are! :/ Maybe thinking about cold midwestern temperatures...j/k

As a young pastor I have fallen into the mode of trying to do everything and that is a sure recipe for burnout. Schedules are good, but not inspired, but they do serve as a good reminder of what is important. I love to prayerfully pull back with my family and just enjoy simple things like my 3 yr old's laugh or my 11 yr old's wit, or my wife's smile. There is something very refreshing about (as Joe mentioned above) pulling back and enjoying these gifts God has given. I also enjoy running, lifting weights...or playing baseball with the kids.

I will also pray for you that you might be refreshed & delight in the beauty of the Lord Jesus.


Phillip Fletcher said...


Somethings I like to do for relaxation is first family time. Exercise is great and I'm an avid runner. Reading and writing is also great relaxation.


Clif Cummings said...

Being an outdoorsman and hunter - I rest by getting out into God's great creation and attempting to see His glory in it all!
That is what I plan to do tomorrow!
Other times it is enjoying a day with my bride of 31 years or my 19 year old son doing what they want to do.
Anything away from the office, the city and screening my cell phone calls is refreshing!

ajcarter said...

Golf and golf again. I am becoming more and more convinced that God gave us golf as a foretaste of glory divine. Take a child to play golf, talk about life and the things of God, and you will be greatly refreshed in the child's enthusiasm for all things God, life, and golf. Now that you mention it, Lord willing, I believe I will do it on Saturday. Thanks for the suggestion, Thabiti.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of your cell phone.... oh wait... you don't have one! :)


William E. Turner Jr. said...

I have taken up the hobby of photography. I enjoy taking pictures and then perfecting them in my digital darkroom. I just bought to used books on photography from a local bookstore and look forward to relaxing them and reading through them.

For better or for worse I also tend to play video games.

Ken Davis said...

Ah, the pastorate
Getting rest:
For physical fatigue:
1)Take a full day off every week. This includes, but may not be restricted to, sleeping in ('til about 8:00 a.m.), not answering the telephone, not going near the church, not talking shop, lying down for a nap when tired, helping around the house, getting some things done out of the job jar. Read I Kings 19!! Note that God let Elijah sleep twice and fed him once, before getting him back on his feet. 2)Let your wife make your schedule and let her monitor how you keep to it. 3) A regular date with your wife. We go out together the first Monday after every pay. Sometimes a restaurant, sometimes just coffee, shopping ... 4)A lull in your week is a gift from God - enjoy it and remember that He may be prearing you for something that is going to be very busy.

For mental/spiritual fatigue: 1)talk to my wife, making sure that my people know that confidentiality does not mean not talking to my wife about things - this is important for my own mental and spiritual well being, 2) talk to my pastor friend with whom I have lunch once a month, 3) schedule days of prayer - one per month is my current schedule, 4) a trip away, not to holiday or visit people but to be alone, meditate, read the Bible uninterrupted, take walks ... My wife and I are going away in 38 days for a week of R&R. Three hours every morning of Scripture reading, meditation, discussion with my wife about what we each found, and then an afternoons of walks, driving, napping etc. We do this every two years but need to make it annual. 5) T.V. free days/weeks. This can also include radio, newspapers, internet/computer time ... . 6) have a getaway place where you can retreat to for an hour or two when you need to. I have a park I go to some days that only my wife and I know about. I simply cannot be reached. I stay for an hour or so and then go back to work.

Anonymous said...

C’mon now, bro, you’re too young in the full time ministry thing to be tired! :)
Yes, ministry does have its particular joys and rewards but it can definitely drain you, at times. Here are a few things that immediately come to mind. You realize that most of these are the ones you tell me all the time....

1. Share the load more.
2. Yes, there’s lots to do and much to improve. It doesn’t all have to be done by this weekend!
3. Blog less.
4. Go diving with Dave!
5. You don’t have to preach this Sunday. Friday morning, pick up Titus and go hang out at the beach together for a couple of hours and do nothing.
6. All that travel takes more out of you than you think.
7. Dish out more to your Fellow Elders.
8. Friday night, drop of the girls and Tito at Uncle Dave’s for a sleepover. Take mama out to a delicious meal on the water at the Westin. Order the sesame crusted grouper with mango salsa. Reserve the table on the water’s edge during sunset –spectacular! Go home and just hang together for the evening. DO NOT open the laptop till Saturday at 2 PM! Sleep in till 11 AM (your favorite activity).
9. Take up dave on his offer to pay for Scuba Diving certification classes and enjoy God’s underwater world! Bro, that’s a no-brainer!
10. Pace yourself more. You are doing a fabulous work at FBC for God’s glory. You’re here for the long haul – a marathon, not a 100 yard dash.

I want us to labor together for a very long time! Take this from an older brother in the Lord that’s lived to tell about it (barely). Besides, I’m going to need a long time if I’m going to teach my nephew, the Tman how to dive and play the trumpet!

Having a blast serving with you,


Justin Buzzard said...

I go with a Friday Sundown Shutdown (24 hr. Sabbath with the family). I've been doing this for just about 10 weeks and it's been a great refreshment for me and my family. I explain what I do here: