“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
We all know the story of Mary and Martha. They were sisters who opened their home to
Jesus, both expressing a different form of hospitality. Jesus commends Mary for her
eagerness in spending time with Him while correcting Martha in her focus on busyness.
(Reference Luke 10:38-42)
While both methods of serving have value, we must always remember that the number
of things we do for Jesus doesn’t replace time spent in His presence. Yes, our calling is
important and there are things we need to accomplish in our pastoral calling. But
sometimes we get so caught up in all the tasks we have to do that we lost sight of who
we’re doing it for in the first place.
That’s why it’s essential for every pastor to find ways to recharge and find
encouragement in the midst of their pastoral calling. This way we can ensure that we
are serving without sacrificing time with our Savior.
Here are 9 ways to recharge and find encouragement in your pastoral calling.
Schedule Regular Time to Recharge
First things first: there’s nothing wrong with resting. On the contrary, you are only
hurting yourself and your ministry if you don’t! If you are not in top shape mentally,
psychically, emotionally, and spiritually, you will not be able to give your best to the
people you serve. Rest is essential to get to that place of refreshment. Schedule time
for regular “recharge time,” whatever that looks like for you. In doing so, you will be
preparing yourself to better serve in your ministry. (Psalm 23:2 “He maketh me to lie
down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters.”)
Continue to Focus on Your Personal Devotional Time with God
You spend so much time focusing on and encouraging the spiritual lives of those you
serve but are you giving the same time to yourself? Your teaching, leading, and guiding
of God’s people depends on your own spiritual development. That’s why it’s crucial that
you are diligent in your personal devotional time with God. Let it be a time that you rest
in the presence of the Lord and find continued encouragement to continue the work He
has prepared for you. (Psalm 1:2 “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his
law doth he meditate day and night.”)
Spend Time Outdoors in God’s Creation
God has created a beautiful world for us to live in, and sometimes our busyness makes
us forget it even exists! Fresh air and a change of scenery have a way of relaxing our
hearts and minds in the midst of our crazy schedules. This time spent in God’s creation
can be a great time to reset your mind and sort out your priorities. Make it a part of your
daily routine whenever possible. (Psalm 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament sheweth his handywork.”)
Enjoy Fellowship Outside of Your Pastoral Role
Yes, you spend a lot of time with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, but in a pastoral
role where the pressure is on to meet the needs of others. Make time for fellowship
where others pour into you. Meet with other Christians on a friend-to-friend level, and
not in a pastor/ministering to environment. Time with our fellow believers has a way of
bringing us some of the most empowering encouragement we can experience!
(Hebrews 10:24-25 “and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good
works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is;
but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”)
Delegate Responsibilities to Give Yourself Some Space
Most pastors find themselves overworked and taking on way too much of the
responsibility in their church. Train up other leaders in the church and trust them with
responsibilities that are not essential for you to handle yourself. In doing so, you will not
only help them to grow, but you will free up much-needed time for yourself and your
family. It’s a win-win situation in every way! (2 Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou
hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who
shall be able to teach others also.”)
Enjoy Music, Books, or Other Media that Helps You Unwind
Music, books, and other forms of entertainment have a way of speaking to our souls in
unique ways. The inspiration we can receive through such resources can build us up in
a profound manner. Find music, books, or any other form of media that helps you to
recharge and see the world in a new way. Invest time into whatever you choose and let
yourself enjoy that time. (Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all
wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”)
Plan Ahead in Ministry to Allow Yourself Grace
Make some preparations ahead of time for the moments you need them. Write a backup
sermon. Have another leader in your church trained to help out with pastoral duties on
call. Be a couple of steps ahead of yourself so in those moments that you desperately
need to reset, you will have the ability to. You’re only human, and no one expects you to
be perfect. Being prepared for those times will go a long way in bringing peace to your
heart and mind. (“Proverbs 21:5 “The thoughts of the diligent tend only to
plenteousness; But of every one that is hasty only to want.”)
Make Time for Exercise and Eating Well
God has blessed with bodies and five senses to experience the world He has placed us
in. This reality is a gift that we must honor God in cherishing. Take care of yourself
physically, making the time to eat well and exercise. Your physical health goes a long
way in determining your well-being in every other aspect of your life. Honor God by
being healthy in every way and showing reverence to the body He has blessed you
with! (I Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy
Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are
bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are
God’s.”). Acknowledged, not everyone has all five senses nor can all exercise to the
degree they once or ever could. However, the encouragement is to glory God with what
has be given.
Schedule a Vacation
Taking time completely off doesn’t make you weak. God didn’t create us solely to work.
He desires that we enjoy life! God rejoices in seeing you find joy in your life and the
world around you. Everybody needs a vacation sometimes. Make sure that you have
one on your schedule! It will do wonders in bringing you the refreshment you need.
(Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under
Embrace opportunities to find refreshment and renewal in your daily walk with the Lord.
He created you to love and be loved: not to work endlessly. Never forget that the
success of your calling also greatly rests upon your ability to be at the top of your game
to see it through to fruition.
Making time to recharge and find encouragement is a way that you serve others and
honor God. It is not a confession of weakness! Living out this truth will be the key that
you need to see your calling out to completion to the very best of the abilities God has
placed with you.
Pastors are a huge blessing to us. They guide, teach, and admonish us. And it’d be great to have
them do it joyfully.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint
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