I got to have lunch with Perry Noble last summer, and one topic that came up as I fired out questions as fast as I could was his absolute insistence that pastors not burn themselves out. Coming from a guy who nearly died from a nervous breakdown and has been vocal about battling depression (despite seeing thousands of people come to Christ as his church grew to over 10,000 in a small town), I definitely listened.
One thing he constantly teaches young bucks like me is to realize I’m not a super-pastor who needs to be the only voice my church hears. In fact, he encourages guys to not preach more than 42 times a year and to have at least a couple times each year where the pastor takes two Sundays off in a row. This is because preparing a sermon (well, preparing a sermon the right way) and preaching multiple services will literally drain you. On top of counseling, managing staff, worrying about church finances, working on improving ministries, planning for the future, AND constantly working on the next Sunday’s message, it can definitely get pretty grueling. Don’t get me wrong. I love every bit of it! But every once in a while I heed that godly counsel I got last summer and I take a little break from the pulpit to recharge my batteries.
And they are definitely recharged! I am so stinkin’ pumped to be back in the saddle this Sunday at OneLife. We are kicking off a new series about the Old Testament character Joseph and it is going to be great. It won’t be your usual Sunday School study about his coat and brothers who didn’t like him. We’re going to see how he dealt with a CRAZY family past (can’t we all relate to that!?), how he kept from getting revenge when he was framed in a SCANDALOUS way, and how he forgave the very people he should have hated the rest of his life. It’s gonna be incredible and life-changing!
I really hope you’ll be there and that you don’t come alone (10 or 11:30 at Powell HS!). The next four weeks will lead us up to our Super Bowl – Easter – and we need to get ramped up. Let’s make Knoxville an impossible place to live and not hear about Jesus in a real way!