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Staying Healthy in Missions

Veteran Missionary Q&A

FROM A CHURCH PLANTER IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Q: How do you manage your time well, keep healthy spiritually, physically, and emotionally/mentally, and keep focus on what God wants? – A Pioneers appointee

A: “Take a weekly Sabbath”

My best advice is to have a weekly Sabbath in which you do no ministry and nothing “productive.” We have young kids, so this is family day/Saturday for us. We turn off the internet for the day and take the kids somewhere fun or stay at home for some intentional together time.

These are the memories I know they (and we) will love the most, and it is restorative to us because we do only what brings us joy and rest (reading and going to dinner, spending time at the beach and playing with the kids).

The moment when I realized that practicing Sabbath is an act of spiritual warfare, my life changed. Sabbath isn’t just about taking a breather. It is an ongoing reminder that I am not God and that the world doesn’t cease to function because I step away. Practicing Sabbath puts God back on the throne.

It’s consistently difficult to not let myself answer that one pressing email or make an exception to attend a staff meeting or a ministry opportunity with a person I am trying to connect with. But it’s been the best thing that I’ve ever done for my family, for my spiritual life, and for my mental, emotional, and physical health.

See also: Before You Go.

 

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