The 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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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 “The Recipe for Your Next Sabbath

  • Kathryn McNorton
    5 years ago

    I appreciate your article and the attention you bring to a command we all to often ignore. God is such an amazing provider! He knows exactly what we need and He designed every thing perfectly. All to often, we make things more complicared than they have to be. I love that God built into the week a Sabbath, His Sabbath, which is the 7th day of the week. There is no need for us to develop one for ourselves. He is very specific in the Bible about when it should be and even guides us on how to keep it Holy. While we rest on the Sabbath, we take the opportunity to be recharged, but it also gives us the opportunity to completely trust Him. Casting all of our cares upon Him and having faith in His ability to keep everything in orbit. We don’t focus and concern ourselves with our needs, but we focus on others and God’s blessings. God wants us to follow Him completely, but why do we pick and choose what and how we will follow? Isn’t complete obedience forsaking ourselves? I know this is something I struggle with. So I challenge you, as I challenge myself to keep the Sabbath in its entirety- on the day He commanded & the way He commanded. My prayers will be with you and all of the readers of this article.

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