Life can get busy for anyone, and this is certainly no different for pastors. And for pastors, there is a rhythm to our year that involves seasons of more intense ministry, like Christmas and Easter.
Regardless of the season you’re in right now, it’s always appropriate to withdraw and spend time seeking God’s favor on your life and ministry.
If we want to fulfill God’s vision for our lives and ministries, we must continually hear from God. We must believe that hearing from God daily is a requirement for us to truly shepherd our congregations. It is not just an add-on to our list of things to do; it is a necessity for being a loving and effective pastor.
The prophet Habakkuk says, “I will climb up to my watchtower” (Habakkuk 2:1 NLT).
This is his way of saying, I’m going to get alone with God.
It doesn’t matter where you get alone with God. You just need to find a place. I happen to like outside.
When my kids were growing up, I actually built a little prayer garden down on the slope behind my house where I could get away to pray and focus on God.
You need to have a place that’s quiet, a place where you habitually go to meet with God. Make it special and specific.
The Bible says, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16 NIV). This was a habit with Jesus, and it needs to become a habit in your life.
If you want to get God’s vision and hear God’s direction for each new year and each new season of ministry, you need to meet with him daily.
Let him set your priorities.
Jesus says, “Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace” (Matthew 6:6)
God wants to meet with you. He wants you to know him as well as he knows you. There is nothing in your life or in your church that doesn’t interest God.
“Don’t worry about what you will eat . . . or drink . . . or wear. Your heavenly Father knows that you need [these things]” (Matthew 6:31-32 ).(courtesy)
(Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church, one of America’s largest and most influential churches. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. )