Youth pastors lead busy lives! We run from event to event and youth program to youth program! We have meetings to attend, volunteers to care for, students we want to check in on, and other duties as assigned that get delegated to us fairly regularly. On top of that, having kids and a spouse can make finding the time for Sabbath almost impossible! So, how does the Youth Pastor Sabbath?

Block out intentional family time

Whether you have young kids or teenagers, it’s important to let them know that they are a priority to you. Spending time together as a family is an important way to observe Sabbath. It can be a meal, a hike, or playing a game together. You give your time to a lot of people. Make sure when you observe Sabbath, you intentionally plan time for your family! That includes your spouse, who will have difficulty finding Sabbath rest since they probably play a larger family role when you work the hardest. Show them they matter to you!

Disconnect from work

Put your phone away. Turn it all the way off. Don’t open your laptop. Flee the county. Do whatever it takes to disconnect from work. It’s tough when work is spiritual, and our rest can sometimes bleed into work. One way we can ensure that we are totally disconnected is by ensuring that the only people who can contact us are the people we are close to. If there’s a real emergency, we’ll find out about it.

Delegate responsibilities

Most youth pastors don’t get to Sabbath on a Sunday. It’s just not going to happen. So, if you are resting during the workweek, ensure your responsibilities are delegated to somebody else. If there’s some type of important information that needs to be disseminated, make sure the church secretary knows all the information that’s going out. If your church is small and you don’t have a dedicated admin, put the robots to work! An automated out-of-office email reply with a link to all the important information or the retreat discount code will save you a lot of time! Schedule posts to happen while you’re out and have a volunteer check in on social media to make sure nothing gets weird.

Find the spiritual practice for you

If you can’t read your Bible without preparing a lesson, maybe you need to try listening to worship music. If you have difficulty praying without thinking about reaching out to a student, maybe you should go on a hike without your phone. It’s tough when so much of our job is connected to spiritual practices. Find the practice that helps you reset, connects you to God, and doesn’t accidentally lead you back into work.

Connect with the community

Whether you are single or have a family, use your Sabbath time to connect with people who invigorate you. Find those life-giving people you can spend time with and plan a coffee or a lunch together. Talk about spiritual things and build one another up. Ministry can be lonely. Find someone with whom you can share life and invite your struggles.

What did I miss? Is there a way that you find to Sabbath that you feel is helpful?

Think you may be on the verge of Burnout? We’ve got a resource for you to check out: