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Why do I need a study break?

While sitting in the Westfield service yesterday, I was struck by two other reasons for me to take a study break:

1) Leading a church like NL and preaching to many people every Sunday can be a heady experience. People actually sit and (act like they?) listen. I lead a staff that respects what I say and follows where I lead. If a preacher is not careful, it’s easy to start believing he is more important than he is.

During the month of August, I experience reality more than usual. I get to be a regular person. I am not the head of the office, the most influential voice in a staff meeting, or the center of focus on Sunday morning. During August, my voice is small on everything. I’m not the center of our family’s focus. In our marital staff meetings, my voice (how can I say this?) is appropriately proportioned.

My study break humbles me.

2) Yesterday, I was reminded how much NL needs me to get away. Healthiest churches are not about one leader. One of our goals is that NL will be stronger after I leave/die/waste away in Margaritaville. When the preacher backs off, the church realizes how the church is led and blessed by God, not by one person. (True story: over the past couple years, I have heard more stories of ministers getting fired after returning from their study breaks. Apparently, they discovered they didn’t need their ministers at all!)

So, as my study break comes to a close, thanks for giving me this opportunity. Ministry life is a marathon, not a 100-meter dash. Changing speed for a month has helped me plan, refresh, and re-engage in my 17 years of leading NL.

Brett Andrews
Lead Guy

One Response to “Why do I need a study break?”

  1. This reminded me of the passage in John 16 where Jesus talks about returning to the Father. I wouldn't describe Jesus' going away as a 'study break,' however, there is a cool thing which occurs. The Holy Spirit comes as He goes.
    I don't claim to fully understand what that means, however, it's a reminder to me on our dependence on His Spirit, especially in the time where there is an absence felt.

    Brett, you are an encouragement and I look forward to your future messages.

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