Ever find yourself saying “I don’t have time to rest”? If you find yourself saying these words…it’s probably a sign that you need to be making sure rest happens.  Making the time can be a challenge. We’d like to look at some practical approaches to making sure rest happens, so that you and your people do indeed have time to rest.

making sure rest happens

1. Put rest in your job description/work plan
What’s evaluated gets done. If you or your church staff are required to intentionally take time away, chances are it will happen. Take some time to look at your work plan and if there is not an element of rest, make the needed adjustments to ensure you get the rest you need.

2. Plan a retreat
Look at your calendar far in advance and set aside a series of days for a spiritual retreat. Research retreat centers. See what options exist for individuals serving in ministry. Many times there are retreat centers that specifically focus on providing a time of rest for ministers.

3. Ask someone to hold you accountable
Peer pressure can be powerful. Make sure you drill down specific expectations for how you will intentionally rest. Then find someone to share those expectations and make sure they hold you to them.

4. Discover Your Best Rest
More activity or less activity? Planned or unplanned? Outdoors or indoors? Does your spouse have the same feelings about these questions as you?

5. Plan For the Cost of Rest
Money is rarely the actual obstacle. Planning and priorities more often are. Chart out what your vacation, retreat, or other activity will cost and begin putting a small amount of money away monthly.

There are lots of free or very reduced retreat or vacation homes for pastors and their families. Many of these places also allow non-pastors who are heavily involved as lay leaders to also utilize their facilities.
– E.L.I.M. Retreats (MI, WI)
– Sheperd’s Refuge (GA)
– Whitestone Inn (TN)*
YMCA of the Rockies (CO)*
*ask for fee for overseas missionaries, pastors, etc.

As you look at your plan for rest, plan accordingly as you take some of these areas into consideration. Which one of these options can you implement immediately? Which one would be most beneficial for you?


Brad Bridges is the Vice President of the Malphurs Group, a leadership coach, strategy consultant, blogger at bradbridges.net, husband to Lindsey, and father of 3. | @bradbridges | Website