The Baker Blog
Pastor Mike Baker Of Eastview Christian Church 2017
No service

It happens occasionally when you get to some remote spot on the map, or a pocket where cell phone towers are not as frequent as they need to be, or when something is wrong with your provider’s satellite: the dreaded “no service” notification on your cell phone or iPad.  Now what??!!!  I can’t check the weather, get the latest sports scores, see who has posted on my Facebook page, catch up on what’s trending on Twitter, instantly communicate to my friends or loved ones,  or read Mike Baker’s latest blog (okay, almost nobody worries about that last one!).   Isn’t is amazing how desperate most of us get when we are disconnected from the Internet and all the “social” options it provides?   

This desperate desire to be connected is precisely why I’m going to intentionally disconnect for the next two weeks.  The leaders of my church have given their blessing and encouragement for me to be completely off the grid as I vacation with my wife until the beginning of August.  Here’s why I think this will be a great spiritual discipline and one I’d encourage you to try:

1.  I will be able to hear God on a deeper level.  Unfortunately, God is the voice that often gets drowned out in the cacophony of media and constant bombardment of messages.  Think of the amount of advice, opinion, and information that we consume every day.  Literally hundreds if not thousands of messages, and most of them are not necessary at best, and not Christian at worst.  God is not a shouter.  It’s not that he doesn’t have a booming voice, it’s that he calls us to listen to his still small voice.  The Psalmist says, “be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) and disconnecting from the Internet noise is a step in quieting my soul enough to hear him.  

2.  I won’t feel the need to talk or give opinions.  I talk for a living.  I preach four times most Sundays, and meet with staff members and church members regularly.  I speak at civic events, and even have pastoral conversations at Lowe’s when I’m looking for weed trimmer line and I hear the words “hey pastor” when I’m not looking particularly pastoral.  My spiritual gifts involve using words, but sometimes, I fear I talk too much.  So for the next two weeks, I’ll follow James’ advice – “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak…” (James 1:19).  

3.  I won’t have to fix problems.  One of the great temptations with social media and connectedness is that we become independent little messiahs who feel we need to fix everything.  This can be especially true of parents who refuse to be out of contact with their children via text messaging.  The same can be true of pastors.  We can sometimes feel like we are so important, that the church won’t go on unless we can give our wisdom on every situation that arises (like should we go with the sugar cookies or chocolate chip in our atrium Sunday morning?).  Again, disconnecting is a sign of trusting that there are well qualified leaders and volunteers that will effectively guide the church while I’m away.  God’s church, by the way, not mine!

So, I’m going to intentionally be with “no service” for the next two weeks.  Until then, consider disconnecting a few hours yourself.  I don’t think any of us will regret it.  

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