A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to unplug for 11 days. As a church planter, these times seem to be few and far between. So when the opportunity was possible, and my team was willing to take care of things while I was gone, my family and I jumped at the opportunity. I owe a very special thanks to Dane Hillyer, who preached an incredible message while I was out. And also to Lee Blakney and Chad Graham who took care of all the church business. I am blessed with a great team!
Believe it or not, unplugging is not easy. We had just left town on our long road trip and at the very first stop, I pulled out my phone to check my email and to look at Facebook. “What am I doing”, I thought! This is not going to be easy. So I took drastic measures… I deleted my Facebook app from my phone. I then deleted Twitter and Instagram! Followed by setting my voicemail to be directed to Chad and Lee as well as setting an auto response for all of my email accounts. Just when I thought I had achieved the “unplugged” status I desired, an alert went off on my phone. AHHHH! I turned off all notifications. It was work just to get unplugged!
Finally “Off the grid”
Somewhere along the way, we as ministers have equated busyness with success. This is so wrong and so off base from the teachings and the actions of Jesus. Mark 1:35 says that Jesus woke up early in the morning while it was still dark and went to a solitary place. Luke 5:16 says Jesus often withdrew to the lonely places. Often!
Unplugging for those 11 days has set me up to be a better leader, pastor, husband, father and man. These times have a way of “recalibrating” you and “course correcting” you in a way that could not be accomplished in the “busyness” of ministry.
For your own sake, for your family’s sake, and for your churches sake, please find some time to pull away and unplug. Even if it’s just for a day, make unplugging a priority and part of your routine in 2015. Saying that you don’t have time is really saying that you are a poor time manager. Remember, you have time for what you want to have time for. #offthegrid