We need to develop a regular rhythm of Sabbaths to stay healthy and avoid burnout as leaders. In today’s video, Chris Surratt gives us three ways to take a Sabbath as small group leaders.
- We have to Sabbath weekly.
Take one day a week where you focus on prayer, God’s Word, and physically and spiritually refueling.
- We have to Sabbath quarterly.
At least once a quarter, take a break from leading a weekly Bible study and do something fun with your small group and family.
- We have to Sabbath yearly.
Just a like a yearly vacation with our families, look at taking a short vacation from your group. Leading and hosting a weekly meeting can be exhausting. Take a few weeks each year to step away from those meetings to rest and be ready for the next season with your small group.
Okay, today I want to talk about how do you avoid burnout as a leader by taking regular sabbaths. You know, as small group leaders, we’re used to pouring into other people, pouring into our group members, into our group, but if we’re not careful, if we’re always being poured out but not poured into, it can easily lead to burnout and that’s not good for you, for your personal health and it’s not good for your group, so I want to talk about three ways that you can sabbath as a group leader to stay spiritually healthy.
The first way is you need a sabbath weekly. What does that look like? That’s simply taking one day every week where you’re going to focus on prayer and if you don’t have a regular rhythm of prayer at least once a week, get into prayer, get into The Word, find a plan that you can follow, maybe a devotional with some scripture. Do that hopefully every day, but at least once a week. Start that rhythm and then also resting and refueling–whatever that looks like for you. For everyone, it’s different. Maybe it’s an activity that refuels you find out whatever that activity is and try to do it as much as you can one day every single week. So we want to Sabbath weekly.
We also want to Sabbath quarterly that looks like, you know, maybe you do Bible studies every single week and you want to take maybe at the end of the study, maybe at the end of six weeks, take a week in, just celebrate and do something fun with your group so you don’t have to necessarily put together a Bible study, uh, maybe go outside of your home, maybe go somewhere and do something fun like a picnic, something easy. So you’re resting, but still spending time in community with your group. So Sabbath, quarterly, about every six to eight weeks. Do something fun, do something relaxing with your group.
And then finally we want to sabbath yearly. You know, you probably take a yearly vacation maybe with your family during the summer. Well, it’s the same concept with your group. You want to look at maybe taking a vacation actually from your group, maybe take two or three weeks during the summer or during the holiday, not have group every week and just refuel, rest, and then by the time you get back, you’re going to be revived and ready again for your small group. So follow these three things, sabbath with weekly, quarterly, yearly, and hopefully you’ll avoid burnout and be in this for the long game.
Chris Surratt is a ministry consultant and coach with over 23 years of experience serving the local church. Chris served on the Executive Team at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN, and was on staff at Seacoast Church in Charleston, SC, for 15 years. He is also the Small Group Specialist for Lifeway Christian Resources. Chris’s first book, Small Groups For The Rest Of Us: How to Design Your Small Groups System to Reach the Fringes, was recently released by Thomas Nelson. You can follow his blog at chrissurratt.com or follow him on Twitter @chrissurratt.