“So what is the schedule/agenda/program for the retreats at Barnabas House?” I’m asked this question over and over in many different ways. Every time I hear it I think, “You don’t really get it, do you?”
The issue of pastor burnout isn’t solved with more – more activities, more information, more 5 hour energy, more conferences, more ideas. Today’s pastor has unprecedented access to information, ideas, and conferences via the Internet than any other time in history. The pharmaceutical industry has insured that we can get by on less sleep than ever before thanks to prescription and over-the-counter stimulants that drive us ever forward. Thanks to the pace of our culture, if the pastor isn’t at church (or at the job that actually pays the bills), the expectation to attend every sporting event and concert involving a congregant is enough to keep him or her busier than a one-armed paper hanger.
The answer isn’t more. Or perhaps it is the right more – more rest, more peace, more margin, more real relationship, more breathing. At BHOK we make room for the right more. There is time for solitude, free of expectations. We create opportunity for spontaneous conversation in a safe environment. Counseling is available, but not required. Good reading material lines the walls, though one need never pick up a book. In this place, our priority is to provide an atmosphere where the still, small voice of God can be heard.
Pastors, make room for the right more. Find a way to sometimes say no to things that are good, so that you can say yes to the things that are God.
Church members, help your pastors make room for the right more. Allow them to say no without criticism. Build into the budget and the calendar the margin that is so integral to their service and spiritual development. Take joy in seeing your pastor and his family rested. You’ll never regret having a well-loved leader.
How are you making room for the right more in your life or in your pastor’s life?