Pastors are around people a lot it is the nature of the work. Whether you are connecting with people in your church or connecting with people in your community or meeting with staff this is a big part of the job.
My plea to you today, though, is not to forsake true solitude in your spiritual life. No, I am not talking about locking yourself in your office to crank out emails, no I am not talking about turning Netflix on your iPad. No, I am talking about purposely removing yourself from the busyness to focus on prayer for your congregation, reflection on your spiritual life and those around you, and meditation on the huge weight that is the pastoral ministry. Therefore, here are 5 principles to help you pursue true solitude:
It’s All About God
Solitude is not a selfish thing. Many of us have been programmed to believe that. But, a solid time of solitude every day is not only spiritually healthy for you and your family, but also your staff and congregation. Make your time of solitude about you and God not you and you, or you and a person or task that will not leave your mind.
If you are going to pursue solitude you are going to have to be intentional about it. You are going to have to schedule a block of time to do it and make it a priority not something that you cast off because you are a couple emails or phone calls behind.
Take Solitude Seriously
Beyond being intentional about it you must also take it seriously. Again, this is not a time to go hide in your office. You must take the block of time for solitude as seriously as a staff meeting, sermon prep time, or any other tasks you have planned.
Turn Off Everything
When you are practicing solitude you cannot have devices dinging and phones ringing. Go to a place without your office phone, smart phone, computer, tablet and so on. In today’s technology driven productivity we can get lost in all our devices. You have to be intentional and serious about turning off or removing your devices.
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Practice Makes Perfect
If you have not seriously practiced solitude in some time or never have it is going to be a hard thing to undertake. but do not be discouraged keep working at it and you will find your solitude to be a great time for prayer and meditation with God and a refresher for your spiritual life.
Do You Successfully Practice Solitude Or Want To?