There are 492 billionaires in America and not one of those jerks has decided to become Batman.
Batman is my favorite. He doesn’t ask permission to do what he believes he’s called to do, he just does it. Because he’s Batman. I love it when he just leaves a conversation while someone is in mid-sentence. Then they turn around and realize that they were talking to themselves for a second. Classic Bats.
Ministry leaders should be like Batman. Batman does not ask permission to be alone. Everybody else just has to deal with it. We should not have to beg to be alone, to rest, to practice Sabbath, to pray and meditate, or to be with family.
So, here’s how to Batman-out and practice proper rest and separation that we can learn from the Caped Crusader (a sentence I couldn’t wait to write!).
Don’t apologize for being unreachable.
Jesus was unreachable. In fact, I think that Jesus often tried to get away from the crowds to pray and meditate on God’s Word and to just rest. I mean, God rested; Jesus rested; what’s it going to take for us to feel like it’s ok for us to rest?
Before walking on water in Mark, Jesus had been trying to get away from the crowds to pray. He continued to have compassion on them and served them. However, when the passage says that the disciples saw him on the water, Scripture says that Jesus “intended to pass them by.” Is it possible that the only place Jesus could spend time with his Father was by going where humans couldn’t follow? It’s like Jesus said, “Hold all my calls for a bit while I do this other very important thing.”
Many pastors have families, hobbies, and friends (I hope). Being accessible to the people that you minister to 24/7 is not ok. Jesus didn’t do it. Batman doesn’t do it. You shouldn’t do it.
Don’t apologize for taking care of yourself.
Show of hands, how many of you feel guilty when you take a day off from work? Even if you’re off and not thinking about ministry work, are you thinking about housework? Yardwork?
Let me ask you a serious question. When’s the last time you took a nap? Right in the middle of the day? My wife’s workplace has an actual room with a twin bed, nightstand, and lamp designed for 30 min power naps. Her boss has given permission, NAY, encouraged his employees to hit the sack when they need to charge up during the work day!
I actually had a boss who would sneak over to the youth room and take a power nap on one of the many couches a few times a week, too. And when he woke up, he’d get all mad because I was spooning with him, but I’m like, hey, I need a nap too and you took the best couch, but whatever.
It’s time we stop feeling guilty about succumbing to the science God created our bodies with and let them recharge shamelessly by resting and retreating regularly!
That same napping boss had a great mantra he would tell us regularly: Divert Daily, Withdraw Weekly, and Abandon Annually. Rest is the key to attacking your work with a fresh energy each day.
Don’t apologize for being focused.
I’m not a fan of the “bullpen” style office. It’s an introverts nightmare. You feel so exposed and stressed out the whole day. If you cannot go more than 15 minutes at a time in uninterrupted work, you’re not going to do your best work, and focus is the key to that.
Michael Hyatt has a strategy that he uses to get uninterrupted work time. He sets a timer, tells his secretary to hold his calls and do not disturb him, and he brainstorms and dreams new content up until the bell rings. This is scheduled time each week!
Interruptions happen, and we need to be interruptible for our people; just not all the time. It is a myth that the pastor is called to be on 24/7, not to mention ungodly and displeasing to our Father.
Focus allows us to attack the things that God has set up for us. We have to wear many hats, but what’s the one that God gave you to wear?
So that’s my three apologies I will no longer make for trying to be like Batman. It is, by no means, and exhaustive list. What should I add? Let me know in the comments section.