Recipe for Your Next Sabbath

This is blog post is written by Aaron Helman.

Before you dive in, I want to jump in and say something.

We’re smack in the middle of summer right now. For many of us it’s near the end of summer.

In the craziness of the summer season, don’t forget to take time of for YOUR Sabbath.

I think you’re going to find what Aaron has to say really helpful. Enjoy!

– Nick Diliberto, Preteen Ministry

The Recipe for Your Next Sabbath

When I talk to burnt-out, stressed-out ministry leaders, the first thing I ask them about is their last Sabbath. Usually I don’t get much of an answer.

That’s okay. I’ve been there.

I’ve been so convinced of my own importance in the spiritual life of my church and our students that I found it hard to even take a full day off.

And that’s wrong. Failing to Sabbath is a surefire way to burn yourself out of your ministry position altogether. And isn’t keeping the Sabbath on of the 10 Commandments (ouch…yikes, that stings a little)?

So if you’re like I was, and you feel like your job is too important not to rest, let me be the first to say you’ve got it totally backwards.

Your job is too important for you not to rest.

A true Sabbath should be a day of rest and restoration, and that’s a much different thing than just “taking a day off.” There’s a difference between “not working” and “actively filling your tank.”

Think about it. You can watch 19 consecutive hours of Netflix. You’re not working, but at some point, you’re not exactly resting either.

Want to keep your spiritual batteries charged?

Follow this recipe for a Sabbath that truly restores you.

1. SLEEP WELL TO START.

Heading into your Sabbath, sleep for a full 8-9 hours.

Most of us underestimate the value of a good nights rest.

Get some sleep and feel energized when you wake up.

2. PURSUE A RELAXING HOBBY.

Do something you enjoy that’s not related to work.

Do crafts, go hiking, paint.

(Nick stepping in here for a second. One of the best things I’ve done for myself over the last year is to join an adult dodgeball league in Uptown, New Orleans. 

Every Tuesday night I play a round of dodgeball with a bunch of other crazies like me.

Although I don’t play on my Sabbath day, it gives me an opportunity once a week to do something outside of ministry, work, and family.

In fact as I write this our team is currently undefeated and ranked in the top 3 in the league. This is my 3rd season on the same team. At the end of the first season we were in last place. Ouch! 

So happy we’re doing much better now!

I encourage you to pursue a hobby of some kind. It’s so refreshing!

You can probably come up with a thousand reasons not to. But do it anyway….I promise you won’t regret it.)

3. DO SOMETHING SPECIAL WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS.

Go out to lunch with your wife.

Take your kids to the zoo.

Play a round of disc golf with your college buddies.

4. DIVE DEEP SPIRITUALLY.

Carve time out for quiet reflection, prayer, or Scripture reading.

Give this practice more time and attention than a quick devotional or a podcast in the car.

5. DON’T CHECK EMAIL.

I know, it’s sooooo tempting to check it.

Just don’t 🙂

6. SLEEP WELL TO END.

Your Sabbath day is full of fun stuff, and it might be tempting to stay up late to cram more in, but I’d tell you not to.

It’s hardly a day of rest if you wake up more exhausted the next day.

The Sabbath is prescribed for you because God knows you need it. 

P.S. – Switching gears here…it’s Nick stepping in again. Just wanted to show you a picture of my 14 year old son Ethan heading off to church camp this week. It’s the first time he’s going to camp without me. So excited for him & praying God does amazing things in his life and everyone attending!!!

ethan-diliberto-velocity church camp

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What Students Really Think of Your Teachings

Nick Diliberto is the creator of this website – PreteenMinistry.net.

Aaron Helman has over 15 years experience in youth ministry. He is currently a youth pastor in South Bend, Indiana.

2 Responses to “Recipe for Your Next Sabbath

  • It is funny that I am reading this post on my Sabbath. The first three I don’t have too much problem with, but the last three are a bit of a work in progress. Believe it or not, one of my hobbies on a Sabbath is cooking. Though it seems like work to some, for me to “experiment” with new recipes brings happiness and joy (comfort too knowing that I get to eat it).

    I have difficulty still with the last three, especially media and technology use. For example: said I was going to limit my time in front of technology but here I am on my phone. But I definitely did not spend nearly as much time as I usually would on a “day off”

    • Paul, we’re all a work in process. No one has it nailed down perfectly. I think just being aware of our tendencies to switch into work mode is a great place to be. And cooking is a great hobby to dive into. Do more of it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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