Pastor’s rest day is usually Monday. However, it is challenging for pastors to take a complete break from ministry, as it is very interwoven with our personal lives. So without intentional effort, our personal life and ministry boundary can quickly get blurry, leading to exhaustion and burnout. So this is how I usually rest on Monday. (But it is subject to change)
First, I try to sleep plenty, at least 8 hours. Sleep is the best natural medicine and energy booster.
Second, I also try to read a lot. Though reading is a big part of my pastoral responsibilities, it is restful and calming. And I also read the coming Sunday’s sermon passage. Though it is part of my work, reading sermon passage ahead of time helps me dispel lingering anxiousness about the upcoming Sunday’s message.
Third, I try to cram all my appointments on Monday, if possible. (Doctor, Dentist, Errands). Running errands is an excellent break from ministry. It allows me to get out of home and provides a burst of creative moments in between appointments.
Last, if I don’t have any appointments, I work on a personal project, which often involves doing home/car maintenance or learning/implementing new things in my workflow.
Rest is not mere inactivity. It is allowing ourselves to do what makes us restful. Once I am well-rested, I feel much better prepared to work hard for the rest of the week to my fullest ability.
Rest is increasingly becoming difficult for modern people. It is because the rest feels counter-intuitive to the human mind, which is predisposed toward hyper-productivity. No wonder God made keeping a Sabbath a “command” for Israel. And yet, whenever Israel moved away from God, one of the first things that stopped was observing Sabbath.
We are created in the image of God, who rested not out of tiredness but out of design. Rest brings greater productivity in the long-term by design. Even Jesus regularly withdrew himself from the crowd, ministry, and even his disciples to participate in the rhythm of rest created by his loving heavenly Father. And yet, he was able to accomplish all his life mission in only three years of public ministry, with nothing left unfulfilled.