I respect my senior pastor.
But the man is a workaholic. He is so busy that often times, I feel that I should be embarrassed that I choose not to be as busy as him.
I saw a picture of him before he came to this church and the ministry has sucked a lot of weight out of him. For the two years I have been here, he has yet to take a vacation.
My senior youth pastor in DC was like this too. He kept going and going and going without rest. I called him out on it a couple of times, but he ignored me. I told him that though he can move like that, not everyone can. He chose to ignore me. He kept telling the church leaders to not worry about him because he never burns out, which raised many red flags in my head.
I can’t function like that. I need time to reflect, to gather my thoughts, to realize how much I screwed up here and there, and most importantly, to just get away from the church people. Not all the time. Just once a week. I can’t think and reflect if I’m constantly addressing the needs of the church and of the people.
A couple of years ago, I went down to Tennessee with a bunch of youth workers for the National Youth Worker’s Convention.
One of the speakers was Doug Fields, who I respect and read a lot of his books for youth ministry.
His sermon title was “What Matters Most” (which is now a book) and basically he was talking about how we as youth workers (and pastors) need to learn how to say “no” so we can say “yes” to what matters most.
In his sermon, he was talking about how a pastor challenged Doug’s need for taking days off. The pastor told him “the Devil never takes a day off, so neither can I,” in which Doug replied, “Well, you can go ahead and be just like the Devil.”
Do pastors tend to forget that God rested?
That Jesus withdrew away from the needs of people to connect with God?
Maybe it’s more pride and ego.
Maybe many of us (including myself) often think that things won’t get done unless we do it ourselves. Or that things will fall apart if we’re absent.
But isn’t that an error in our thinking, almost arrogant? As if God’s work can be done only through us?
Sure, the Devil may never take any days off, but why model myself after him?