Leaders of children, can we be honest? How many times do we try to sacrificially serve on Sundays (Wednesdays, etc) without actually taking the time to sabbath? If we don’t take time to rest in the Lord, then are we not saying, “I got this – I can do it in my own strength?” I want to challenge us all to take sabbath seriously. Most of us do not attend a worship service at church on Sundays because of our duties to teach, oversee, and be present in children’s ministry areas. Therefore, we must “sabbath” before Sunday so that when arrive (early) to serve the families in our church, we come refreshed and renewed in the Lord. We can then, with joy, hold the crying babies who missed their naps, comfort the toddler who is weeping at the door for mama to return, and teach the Bible story to a busy room full of active preschoolers! Remember that God created rest – that’s what the seventh day of creation is all about. “God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it He rested from His work of creation.” Genesis 2:3 HCSB
Here are 5 ways to sabbath before you serve:
1. Ideally, incorporate a day off during the week to offset your work on Sundays. If that is not possible, actively pursue time on Saturday to make time to rest.
2. Spend time in the Word. Not just preparing for Sunday’s lesson, but truly enjoying the scriptures and hearing what the Lord has special for you.
3. Incorporate something you love to do: go for a walk, call or write a friend, cook a special meal for your family, or go for a country drive. Do what allows you to unwind.
4. Find some time to journal your thoughts. This requires solitude. In today’s world, our minds are so cluttered – we can hardly sort out our own thoughts. Get your thoughts down on paper – which could translate to goals, ideas, big dreams, prayer requests.
5. Finally, pray throughout the day. God is jealous for our time. He can’t wait to Sabbath with you. Seek your heavenly Father in times of rest and you will be restored.
Jana Magruder serves as the Director of LifeWay Kids. Jana brings a wealth of experience and passion for kids ministry, education, and curriculum writing. She and her husband, Michael, along with their three children attend Forest Hills Baptist Church where she teaches The Gospel Project to preteen girls.