We live in a world of constant change. As we go through our daily lives, we live in uncertainty, never knowing for sure what tomorrow could bring. Forget tomorrow, often we don’t know what the next hour will bring.
In addition to uncertainty, we deal with the speed of a fast and furiously paced life. It comes as no surprise then as pastors and church leaders that we continue to struggle with slowing down, relaxing, paying attention to God’s calling and receiving his direction in life.
In Psalm 46:10 we are reminded to “be still and know that I am God.” but what does it mean for as the church and how we can apply it to our lives and leadership?
As a busy pastor there were times that the last thing I thought about was being still. The same is probably true for you. You have a church to administer, a family and a home to care for. When do I find the time to be still? While in the midst of preparing messages, attending meetings, visiting infirmed church family members, maybe holding down a second job, we wonder with so much to deal with in our busy lives, how are we to be faithful to God’s command to us to, “be still.”
Be still in Hebrew means let go, to loosen the reigns of, to slacken. God is telling us to let go of circumstances beyond our control. We cannot control everything life and if we try, it can overwhelm us and become too much to manage.
When God asks us to be still, He’s asking us to surrender to him. He’s asking us to depend on him and him alone. So, “be still” doesn’t mean, do nothing. It doesn’t even really mean do less. What I think it means is to loosen up on the grip we have on the reigns of our lives and allow God to take control.
I’ve been thinking that a short slogan about this concept might look good on a t-shirt or a plaque that says something like, “Let go and…and… and, well hopefully I’ll come up with the rest of a pithy saying that will remind us to let God be in control of this life we hold on so tightly to.
One way I have found to be still, is to do just the opposite. To be still and know God, I have found it can be achieved by worshipping God in song. Now let’s be honest, as pastors it is really hard to truly God worship during our worship services. I don’t know about you, but I always had trouble letting go, while singing praise songs or hymns during the service. During the worship, in the back of my mind I would be wondering why things were not going as I imagined. Why was the song screen presenter two beats behind the band leading the singing or why it is taking so long for the scripture reader of the day to get settled in at the lectern? My worship of God through song and scripture must take place in other times and places rather than the services I am responsible for.
I surrender myself to God in song in a few different ways. Sometimes while riding alone in the car or singing in the shower I can lift praise to God and in full voice or quiet whisper and express in devotion to the One who gave me life and new life. Many of us also need be refreshed and nurture our relationship with God through prayer. It’s one of the most important aspects of our Christian life, but often one of the most overlooked. I find that the best time and place is alone before the rest of my family arises.
This seems to be in concert with how Jesus found time in his busy schedule to connect with his heavenly father. “Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Luke 5:16
Be still and know that I am God is not only a Biblical command, it’s also a challenge to you as a church leader to lighten up on the leadership reigns, let go and let God be in charge of his church. Let go and let God. Hey, that’s what I’m talking about.
I have devoted an entire chapter of my latest book, Church Turnaround A to Z to the subject of “Feeding Your Flock.” Remember that you must nourish yourself first before you can satisfy a hungry congregation.