5 Ways For Church Leaders To Recharge After Christmas
By: Sarah Robins
Congrats! You’ve made it through your final Christmas Service! Now you can unplug and join your family in the celebration of the season. However, while this season may sound like a great time for rest, that doesn't always happen. Many church leaders agree that sometimes they come back from the holiday break feeling less rested than before.
As you enter into your Christmas vacation, it’s important for Pastors and church leaders to create space for intentional rest time to recharge and start the new year off strong. Consider these thoughts as you move into this wonderful for your ministry.
1. Celebrate the past year.
Take time to celebrate at the end of this year. Here at Vanderbloemen, we get to see God doing amazing things in churches all over the world every day, so there's no doubt He’s doing them in your church as well. As a church leader, it's important to lead your team well by reflecting on the lessons and wins from this year.
Sit down with your church staff make a physical list of all of the successes and stories you’ve seen in the church and ministry this past year. This can be an opportunity for unexpected gratitude among your church staff team as you reflect on how God has blessed your ministry this year. It can also be a chance to realign a vision that may have been heading the wrong direction. Some of these "wins" may be:
- Successes in individual areas of your ministry
- Church staffing and team wins
- Personal "God stories"
- Financial and giving blessings
- Victories in the mission field, both locally and globally
It’s incredible to experience how much good God does each year when we choose to look for it. How refreshing would it be for your church staff to celebrate and meditate on these things at least once a year?
2. Immerse yourself in story.
This may be easier for some church leaders than others, but when you are choosing a book to dive into this Christmas break, choose fiction. Choose to read a novel instead of a biography, or choose to watch a lighthearted comedy instead of a documentary.
Many studies have been done on the effects that laughter can have on a person’s well being, such as reduced anxiety, higher confidence, and even lowered neuroticism. For busy church leaders, these effects can have an indirectly positive outcome on their work and ultimately, the Kingdom.
Take a break from your thick commentaries and thought-provoking podcasts. Allow yourself to laugh at a movie or be swept away in a good book.
Getting immersed in an inspiring story reminds us of the ultimate story of God’s Kingdom.
3. Get outside.
This one may feel a bit trite, but consider how little most of us go outside and spend intentional time there. You go from home, to office, to home, and maybe a run around the backyard with the kids. More and more research is surfacing that shows higher stress levels and psychological issues among those who have less access to green space.
We were created to enjoy the outdoors, and our bodies benefit from this, both physically and emotionally. It's important for church leaders and Pastors alike to set time aside each day to be outside or take a day off to explore a park or green space.
4. Create space for quiet.
I encourage you to force yourself to have times where you are unplugged and everything is quiet. I use the words “force yourself” purposely. If you don’t make the decision to shut off and shut out everything, you will subconsciously pick up your phone or become distracted by the kids.
Pastors and thought leaders are always advising that we take time to slow down, meditate, and turn off our devices. If it’s not a normal practice of yours, your Christmas vacation is the perfect time to try this. Maybe it can’t be part of your every day routine right now, but take a few hours during your down time this month to practice this. Today's world is so loud, you must force it to be quiet so you can focus on the still, small voice of God.
This may seem obvious, but sleep is often overlooked because it is the easiest to push aside. But sleep is an undisputed necessity. The need for it goes unchallenged, but the charge here is to get more of it during your down time. The benefits are unparalleled:
- Reduced stress
- Increased memory
- Weight loss
- Increased creativity
- Heightened attention span
And the list goes on. Don’t miss the opportunity to get more rest. Sleep in, stop watching TV, and get to bed at a decent hour.
For Pastors and church leaders this season, it can seem like the best way to celebrate is by being busy attending events, hosting family, and the like. While these are beneficial things, it's also important to save some time to truly recharge for the year ahead.
Resting and recharging is easier said than done. Be intentional with the planning for it on the front end so that you can begin your new year with vigor!
How will you be recharging this season?
If you liked this, you'll also enjoy 5 R's To Using Holiday Downtime Wisely.