One of the hazards of any profession is the inability to take significant breaks. This is especially true in ministry. Many churches offer an extended sabbatical for staff after serving seven years–an absolutely wonderful concept! This notion comes from the Old Testament concept of a sabbatical year, but that’s a whole different story for another day. In my particular case, I’m not currently on staff for any one church. Instead, I served several organizations over that past seven years in support of ministry across different domains, and I’m tired.
Based on introspective self-analysis, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m on the verge of ministry burnout. In an effort to avoid tainting the local fellowship of believers, I’ve imposed a break for myself for the month of March. I actually wanted to do this in February, but there were too many events going on and too many gears already in motion to make that happen.
I get tired of hearing what should be done, reading posters and signs that affirm appropriate action, but witnessing the sainthood of believers arrive on Sunday morning as consumers of whatever message they are fed.
Everyone is a minister.
Everyone has a calling.
Everyone is a disciple.
Everyone should be making disciples.
A Christ follower is eligible to baptize a new believer and share communion with a group gathered to celebrate the gospel in a coffee shop or, heaven forbid, a local bar.
Few have a calling to vocational ministry, but some do. If that’s you, do it with everything you’ve got, but understand that those we serve have a better opportunity to reach the lost — it’s our job to train and equip the saints, not merely preach rhetoric!
Let’s join together and change the slogan, This Sunday could be That Sunday for someone to, This Day could be That Day. God made seven days in a week. Each day is an opportunity to be the day for those who are far from Christ.
Here’s the thing: I’m not advocating the destruction of any local church organization. More than anything, I want the local church to be healthy, to be effective, to be the voice of God to a dying world. I’m just becoming more and more convinced that the come-and-see model will not work by itself. We need to be more about go-and-do and have faith that God will fill the pews with those that want to learn more about why we do what we do. And by go-and-do, I mean everyone–staff and non-staff. Lead by example. Please.
If you’ve been inflicted with my rants in the past, you’ve no doubt heard me say that Sunday morning should be a fantastic celebration, a highlight of the week for the warriors out doing battle for Christ. It should be a place where outsiders want to know what the heck is going on in that building. The love of Christ should be so prevalent that people of all ages and origins would be kicking the doors down to get in on the action.
I want Sunday to be that day.
I want to leave the celebration gathering feeling pumped up and preached up so I can tackle my little piece of this dying world with an enthusiasm that’s contagious. I want to be encouraged and challenged. I want to turn to the guy who’s never darkened the steps of a church and tell him this is why we get together on Sunday!
I’m taking a break to understand how to become salt and light again. Recently I posted a reference to John’s revelation and compared John 3:16 to Revelation 3:16. I’m no longer satisfied with being luke warm.
I’m taking a break to figure out how to be a true disciple, to sit and listen, to hear His voice.
I’m taking a break, praying for peace and understanding, for a new song that rises from deep within.
I’m taking a break. Please pray for me as I’m praying for you.