BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP)–All pastors and ministers, and especially those who are bivocational, need to get away for a time of rest and renewal, affirms Ray Gilder, bivocational ministries consultant for the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
“The extreme demands placed upon the bivocational pastor often leave him drained, exhausted and in need of a few days of rest,” said Gilder, who also serves as pastor of Gath Baptist Church, McMinnville, Tenn.
“God is moving in different ways to provide a place for men of God and their wives to get away for a few days of rest and spiritual renewal,” he noted.
Many bivocational pastors work 40 to 50 hours per week in a secular job and then 20 to 30 hours per week at their church, he said. Add to that time to spend with family and there’s not much time left, Gilder observed.
“That makes it easy not to take time to be with God,” he said.
Pastors, bivocational or full time, need to realize that taking time to get away and be alone in prayer with God “is not a waste of time,” Gilder said.
“We encourage them to see that refreshing themselves is important so they can be of better use to themselves and to others.” Spending time with God can give ministers a renewed source of vision and energy to do what God has called them to do, he said.
Another argument for taking time to spend alone with God is it is biblical, Gilder affirmed.
The Lord told his disciples to “come apart for awhile to rest.” “If our model, the Lord Jesus Christ, saw that leaving the crowds and getting alone for time with the Father was important, why shouldn’t we?”
Special ministerial retreat facilities, such as Earth’s Beulah Land in Sneedville, Tenn., and Jeremiah’s Place in Newport, Tenn., can help ministers and their wives strengthen their marriages and families, Gilder said. “Families of ministers are falling apart,” he observed.
“Places like this give the pastor and his wife an opportunity to spend time together and talk,” he said.
By doing this, hopefully they can strengthen their marriage and build happier homes, he said.