The Center for Faith & Culture—Olivet Nazarene University


Sabbath: Option or Mandate?


Now, I'm not an expert on Sabbath, Sabbath-keeping, etc., but I think that is part of the problem.  Let me try and explain what I'm talking about.

I recently got off the phone with a youth pastor who is just flat burned out.  He talked with me about the need he was having for a break, and what I think he was asking for was a Sabbath, a rest, a break from the routine.  This was more than just a time to spend with family; as a matter of fact, from the outside looking in, I thought he was one of the guys who had it all together.  I thought he was pretty balanced in his life at church and home.  From the outside, he seemed like he was doing okay.  Apparently I was wrong.

He didn't have an affair, not even on the radar screen.  He didn't have a meltdown, loss of work ethic, fractured marriage, or kids who hated him.  He didn't have a board that was too demanding, a slave driver as a senior pastor, or a youth staff that expected him to be at everything and do it all himself.  He was just dying from the inside out.  His pastor was shocked when he told him how he felt.  The board was supportive but a little bewildered by his request for a sabbatical.  How does this happen?  How do we get here? 

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Tags: Sabbath, Youth