Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Discipleship Tuesday: Create Rest in Your Life

By now I’m sure you are well-versed in spiritual gift inventories. You’re probably also quite familiar with leadership assessments. It seems that the Church’s appetite for leadership tools marches on. Go to any of the large church ministries conferences and you will be thrown into a world of skinny jeans, expensive coffee, and a never-ending supply of ministry resources designed to help you increase your metrics. Growing your church, for many leaders, becomes a numbers game that aims ultimately at job security. The church has moved to a model that encourages working 24/7 and being available at everybody’s beck and call. That’s not to mention the need to add new service times to the schedule in order to accommodate more congregants, a strategy which has the inevitable side-effect of pulling pastors away from their families. This truly is the greatest problem facing church leadership culture today. But what would happen if the metrics changed? 

It was refreshing a few years ago when some of my favorite authors began to write books about the concept of rest. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that pastors were given “sabbaticals” as part of their standard employment packages. Sabbaticals were designed to keep pastors fresh while also rewarding them for their loyalty and commitment to their calling. In many ways, they became one of the margins that those in full time ministry could use to create balance in their lives. 

This concept of “Sabbath Rest” is not only biblical, but it really works. We can even take a look at the marketplace and see examples of the power of honoring the Sabbath. Take Chick-fil-A, whose management chooses to remain closed on Sundays. This has not only been a philosophical choice since day one, but now it’s become part of their brand. Check out their signs on the highway telling you that there is a Chick-fil-A off the next exit. Right underneath their logo you’ll see the words “closed on Sundays.” Do you realize that they make more money in six days than any other fast food restaurant does in seven? I’m not sure why, but it seems to me that “the ministry” thinks it has become an exception to this rule. If the lighted sign in front of our building doesn’t say “OPEN” at all times, we feel like we’re doing something wrong.

Read the entire article "Sabbath Rest: A New Metric for Church Growth" by Tim Popadic here.

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