I have a confession to make: I struggle with Sabbath.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for it and know the need for it as a necessary component of the rhythm between work and rest. I even tell others, college students, young adults, and college leaders alike that they need to take Sabbath. I’m just not very good at taking it myself.
And I really don’t think that I’m alone in that.
As leaders of collegiate/young adult ministries on campuses and in our churches, the push and demand for doing more can lead to a lifestyle that never seeks the opportunity of pure refreshment and rest.
Do you know what that word “rest” even means?
Let’s face it – we love our work with college students and young adults. Going to work is easy for us. Most of the time it does not even feel like work. However, the need for an intentional Sabbath is not only healthy for us as leaders, it’s also biblical!
“Work may be done for six days, but on the seventh day there is to be a Sabbath of complete rest, a sacred assembly.” (Leviticus 23:3a)
“Then he told them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.’” (Mark 2:27)
I have to admit, I’ve not always been a good example for college students and young adults in my life in this command to observe Sabbath. I know for many of us, Sunday is a workday. However, when are you being deliberate to take time of rest on a consistent basis, you reap physical and spiritual benefits.
Here are 3 things to think about in observing Sabbath as a leader:
1. Find a time. You may have to put it in your calendar. Carve out a morning or afternoon where you can read on the porch, drink a good cup of coffee, or take a walk in the woods. Find a time where you can rest your mind and spirit. It’s a good time to listen – God speaks so often during those times.
2. Turn the phone off. I know – turning our phones off gives us the shakes. Get rid of the distraction of phone calls, texts, chats, etc. Really, they can wait a while.
3. Be accountable. Tell your spouse or a good friend that you struggle with Sabbath and that you want to be more intentional in taking time of rest. Believe me, if you tell someone, they will see the difference it makes when you begin to observe Sabbath.
Taking Sabbath does not always make sense. However, if we are going to be leaders that are modeling a life of obedience to Christ and His life, times of rest and refreshment make a significant difference.
Mark Whitt is the Collegiate and Young Adult Specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources. Before joining LifeWay, he spent many years on the campus of Murray State University as a campus minister. Connect with Mark on Twitter.