07 Mar Helping Pastors
On Monday, I had the opportunity to be involved in an exciting project. I’ve written before about our denomination having set aside an old Bible College property in Christiansburg, Virginia for the purpose of creating a Pastor’s Retreat Center.
Two days ago, I got to be part of a group of denominational leaders and Pastors who are tasked with defining what Sabbath, Sabbaticals, Study Breaks and Overall Pastoral Wholeness is, what they look like, how they best happen. We are also working on how the Center for Spiritual Renewal can best be resourced to make these kind of things happen for Pastors, not in a financial resource sense, but in practical resources (books, DVDs, CDs, sabbatical planning resources, local recreation resources, etc.)
Being a burnout survivor, I hope to be able to help put together effective resources. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity the last few years to work with church leadership that has learned alongside me that Pastors need regular breaks away from the everyday demands.
The culture of our denomination has not always allowed for the Pastor to be able to break away for anything more than “vacation”. I’ve learned through hard experience that Pastors MUST break away regularly to get a sense of what God is doing and desires to do, both in them and through them as they lead.
I’ve been speaking lately about the components necessary to see God turn challenges into miracles. One we’ve been focusing on (and that may be the most critical) is the act of waiting. None of us like to wait, but we must wait on God in order to really connect with Him.
Sometimes, when things are going haywire, we want our answers NOW, and are unwilling to wait. So, instead of waiting, we rush ahead on our own and do what we think best, which may not be what God desires.
The issue of waiting is just as hard for Pastors as anyone else. It is particularly a challenge to wait in a place that everyone knows they can find you and call on you. Some of you know that in your work, too.
Thus, it is important for any Pastor to have places he or she can go to find quiet, peace, rest and ability to wait upon God. I am honored to be able to create and lead others to such resources.