Practical Strategies for a Killer Sabbath

Listen Time ~14 Minutes

We know a Sabbath is vital to the health of a leader and their ministry, but how do we actually do it? What activities do we do on a Sabbath? How does it work? In this episode, Carter and special guest Rick Egbert conclude their discussion about the importance of Sabbath and offer some practical tips for success.

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Practical Strategies for a Killer Sabbath

Mark Carter & Rick Egbert

Welcome to BLP. Today, Pastor Carter interviews Rick Egbert, a mental health counselor, and former pastor, on staff for fifteen years at The Chapel, a local multi-site church. Rick is a wise coach and encourager and was integral in Carter’s planting of his church. 

In this episode, Carter and Rick finish their discussion about the importance of sabbath with some practical tips for success.

  • Be practical and make it happen. // Newsflash, your Sabbath will not happen on its own. The day must be identified, scheduled, and protected. Rest both your body and mind. Slow down and enjoy a long soak in the Lord’s goodness. Breathe and quiet your spirit. God will bring you whatever restoration you need so you can go out. Instead of working to rest, we take a day off, then we work out of what the rest brought us. This is God’s design. 
  • Truly enjoy. // Your Sabbath to-do list: have fun with family, and friends you love, sleep in, read, nap, eat good food slowly, meditate, pray, watch a movie, go for a walk, the bottom line is to do what brings you enjoyment and pleasure. Do not rush or hurry. Sabbath activities don’t have to be spiritual to be sacred, rest and laughter are sacred. A good rule is that you shouldn’t do what you “should do”. The temptation will be to do the things you “should” be doing, instead, avoid them. This is a day of replenishment, not drain. Make your heart happy, be filled, you’re allowed to avoid toxic relationships, shield your Sabbath joy.
  • Be relentless to protect your Sabbath. // Not everyone will be happy with the boundaries around your Sabbath, and that’s okay. Yes, your work is “for God”, but so is the Sabbath, God wants you to be obedient to this command. A burned-out you cannot further God’s kingdom, ministry is a marathon. Learn how to abide in stillness and replenishment, in order to hear what God wants you to do. Remember that the choices you make in your position are by example instructing others how to live. Those you lead are looking to you to see how they should live and how they can succeed. Live a life worthy of emulation.
  • You’ll be more productive and a better leader. // If you’re under-rested, you’ll be less discerning of the needs of your congregation, staff, and others. There will always be more to do, the checklist is unending. The marrow of life is in the rest. Don’t wait to finish another task, there has to be a stopping point. God built rest into our schedule and wants to meet us there.
  • It’s worth it. // It may sound cliche, but Christian leaders carry a lot on their shoulders, advancing the kingdom of God. It’s noble to want to bear the weight, but this attitude misrepresents the spirit that God wants us to have. In front of a watching world, be faithful. Choose rest, choose joy.

Rick Egbert, MA LPC | Psychotherapist at Hopeful Therapy |


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Posted on December 13, 2019

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Erica Segovia
Erica Segovia
4 years ago

This came at a good time. I was at a counseling session last week and one of the things she mentioned was a sabbath. And she also mentioned that I need to enjoy stuff more instead of just checking things off the to do list. My life can be crazy, filled with good stuff like keeping my house in order, the craziness of having foster kids in our home, and prepping for any serving at church etc. I have tried in the past to do a sabbath, but failed miserably. My head just doesn’t stay still. It’s constantly running. So… Read more »

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