“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” -(NIV Matthew 11:28)
Jim Anderson, D. Min.
January 2003 marked the completion of 25 years of pastoral ministry.
Grace Fellowship, an Evangelical Free Church, Overland Park, Kansas; November 1989 – January 2003
Serving a suburban church in a major metropolitan area. Cross cultural teaching in Tatarstan, Russia through Trinity Equipping Center (12 trips).
Conover Evangelical Free Church, Conover, Wisconsin; October 1986 – October 1989
Serving a rural, resort community congregation
Grace Evangelical Free Church, Davenport, Iowa; January 1978 – October 1986
Being the Pioneer/Church Planting/Founding Pastor
Personal Mission Statement:
To train spiritual leaders throughout the Kingdom of God to rest productively for the Glory of God.
The above statement is the culmination of years of ministry, study, experience and seeking God’s desire for my life and service.
“To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talent; what a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared for the work which could be his finest hour.”
- Winston Churchill
A Theology of Rest
“The Sabbaths are our great cathedrals; and our Holy of Holies is a shrine that neither the Romans nor the Germans were able to burn.”
-Abraham Heschel, The Sabbath
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
- Isaiah 30:15
I come from a line of workaholics. My grandfather drove a bulldozer until cancer brought him to his grave. My father ran a trucking business until his death at age eighty-five. At age thirty I found myself unable to get out of bed one morning. Steeped in ministry as a church planter I experienced a physical breakdown, which kept me in bed and out of ministry for six weeks. It took a year to fully regain my health. While I didn't work particularly fast, I seemed to never quit working. That is until I discovered the age-old prescription known as “Sabbath Rest”.
I began a practice of entering a weekly Sabbath consisting of several hours of solitude with God. What started as a discipline soon became a delight. I experienced a fresh perspective on life and my surroundings. To deepen my understanding of what I was experiencing I did a Doctor of Ministries Project at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School on the subject Sabbath-Rest for Pastors.
Sabbath is not so much a weekly day of life, as a way of life available to God's people today. The way of life that is at rest moment by moment requires deep extended periods of rest far beyond a daily “quiet time,” or a typical day off. Few know how to really rest in this fast-paced high-pressure lane we call life. I frequently have opportunities to encourage both pastors and parishioners to enter the chambers of a weekly Sabbath. At this stage in life I would like to help God's servants discover the fountain of rest called “Sabbath” without guilt or shame. It is a must for anyone who needs to repair from life's frenzy or wants to remain creative and close to God.
Sabbath Rest for Pastors
The standard education level of the local pastor is approximately seven years, a four-year undergraduate degree and a three-year Master of Divinity degree. The three-year masters degree is the near equivalent to a Ph.D., a medical or law degree. Unlike doctors and lawyers who seldom abandon their practices after investing so much in their degree programs, ministers are calling it quits after twenty, or even ten years of local church ministry. While the causes may be many and complex, I observe that fatigue plays a major role in attrition. Few pastors or churches have a theology of rest, which would adequately address the physical, emotional, and spiritual drain that accompanies conscientious ministry.
“Taking a Load Off as God Intends”
“Psalm Twenty-Three (23) A Recipe For Rest”
“Rest Beyond Leisure”
“Commuting Between Two Poles, Private and Public Life”
“Rest, Forgiving as Forgiven”
“Release, Review, Remember”
“From Rest to Revival”