Each August, we take one month as a church to Sabbath from our typical rhythms of church life. We press pause on the sermon series we are doing and reorient our hearts and minds on the Lord through rest in Him. We pare down our worship services, various ministries, meetings, and training opportunities to create space for our church family to rest, reorient, and refocus on the Lord. It isn’t about merely taking a break; it’s about trusting in the Lord. It’s about celebrating Him, who He is, and what He’s done. It is an opportunity to remind ourselves that He is in control, and it is our greatest desire and greatest joy to submit to Him and His Lordship in our lives. Throughout the Scriptures, Christ reminds us that to follow Him will be akin to picking up our cross, but He also reminds us that, in Him, with the correct focus, with heart, mind, soul, and strength centered on Him, this yoke will be easy and this burden light. In August, we trust the Lord at His Word, and we stop and rejoice in Him together.
Practically, this is done by opening up options for people to worship with others in their homes via live stream, participating by utilizing our “Summer Sabbath Journal” with their family or LifeGroup, and taking opportunities to fellowship and enjoy the Lord and the community of faith He’s blessed us with. After Sunday services in August, we will host “Bring Your Own Lunch” casual get-togethers at the playground (weather permitting) or in the Friendship Center, daily reflective prayer opportunities on social media that focus us on Sabbath, more relaxed/family-style worship services, “one-room school house” type Adventure:Kids programming celebrating all children being together and enjoying fun opportunities to fellowship with one another, etc. It isn’t that we are “taking the month off,” it is that we are pressing pause on our regular rhythms as a church family and making Sabbath rest a rhythm that we take seriously. When we practice Sabbath, it takes effort to reorient our minds, to plan ahead to be able to fellowship and enjoy one another, and discipline to prepare our hearts to rest in the Lord. Sabbath rest isn’t a common practice in our modern world. It is foreign to us, so we will likely struggle with it, but we are not alone in our struggle. We are in this together, humbly beginning to practice this discipline with minds, hearts, and lives open to the Lord’s prompting.
Join us this month as we embrace the Ruach, the Spirit, the breath of God. Participate with us as we breathe Him in and embrace the rest that comes only in Him. Come with us as we seek to set aside an entire month to follow the early church’s example, to stop and delight in the Lord.