Most youth pastors enjoy working. The job itself is so multi-faceted that it demands fast productivity. Youth pastor’s work hours cannot necessarily be concretely defined, which as an indirect result youth pastors generally work more than a 40 hour work week. However at some point, youth pastors and their youth ministries need to STOP.
God commanded Israel not to work on the Sabbath but to rest and to remember the God of Israel (Exodus 20.8-11; Duet. 5.12-15). The 4th commanded says: God worked 6 days and took a day off. You work 6 days and you take a day off. Jews obeyed this Sabbath commandment on sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. A violation of the Sabbath commandment resulted in the death penalty (Exodus 31:14). If God operated like He did in the OT, 99% of youth pastors would be dead.
On an aside, today we have a debate. What day do Christians rest on: Saturday or Sunday?
Why do Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday? Early Christians switch the Sabbath day from Saturday to Sunday because Jesus resurrected on Sunday. In 321 A.D. Constantine, who was a pagan, became Caesar in Rome and He passed the first law enforcing Sunday worship. He made Sunday the official Sabbath day.
Romans 14:5-6 5 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord.
The issue is not what day we take off, but are we taking a day off?
The Sabbath is given to us as a gift. How do youth pastors receive this gift?
What day do youth pastors stop? What do youth pastors do on their day off?
I would suggest that a youth pastor take a day off during the week. I take Monday’s off. It is nice to take a day off when everyone else is working. It is easier to relax and get things done without any distractions.
What do we do?
-Eat great food
-Turn off all electronic devices
-At some point, try to be alone and isolated (we are around people 24/7, so it is nice detaching)
-Take a walk
-Clean the house
-Spend time with family
“Working for God” means we need to find time in our schedules to be with God. Youth pastors need to know their soul matters! So let us carve time for ourselves to receive from God and others.
Being God’s people means we are a distinct group of people who value stopping, rest, and a time to remember the promises of God.