Middle school ministry is a fast-paced, high-energy, always-on-the-go kind of ministry. We work hard dreaming up weekly gatherings, visiting and meeting with our students, attending school and sporting events, and loving and caring on parents and our volunteers. Then we navigate the duties of staff, worship, congregational events and activities, and of course, our own family schedules and activities. It all adds up to a life that, if we’re not careful, can become overwhelming and exhausting. The question in the midst of all of this is, “How often do you get to spend time with God?”
A number of years ago, I worked with a pastor who had the daily habit of walking through the woods. Each day he would rise, head to a local wooded trail, and spending an hour or more with God. It’s his way of connecting with God. Imagine, having time to connect with God on a regular basis. Now, I have my quiet times and personal devotions. But even with a daily quiet time, I often wish I had the opportunity to be able to spend more time with God.
As I reflect about my friend and his morning walks, it has me thinking about what it would look like to be able to take a day to reconnect with God! I’m not talking about your 30 minute morning study. No, I thinking an all-day retreat; just you and God! What would it look like for you (and me) to be able to take an entire day to spend with God.
Here’s what we do…
Find a day in your schedule where you can make everything go away. No meetings, no appointments, no phone calls, no people. Set that day as your day with God. Think of a place where you will be left alone with no distractions. Give yourself 8 to 10 hours, if possible. Take only your bible, a notebook, and maybe your ipod with music that draws you into God’s presence. Turn your phone off. Leave the iPad in the car. Then, spend the next couple of hours with God.
Read His word. Sit quietly and listen. Journal your thoughts. Write what you think God is speaking to you. Dream with God. And let God give you His dreams.
You can take a lunch or choose to fast. The point is, be alone with God. Reconnect with Him.
Note: Let the important people know what you’re doing and where you will be in case of an emergency. But be sure they know that you’re looking to be alone with God.
How do you reconnect with God? Do you take a retreat or a sabbath? Is there a place you like to go? Share your best practices below, we’d love to hear from you!
Written by, Jay Higham.