Mat Stribling, an elder at my church, served us well with his talk entitled “Rescuing Leisure from the American Dream.”

Here’s the outline:

Introduction: Defending Leisure’s Necessity

I. Definition: What is Leisure?

A. Work-Play Continuum

B. Three-part Definition

  1. Time: discretionary
  2. Activity: intentionality
  3. Purpose: enrichment

II. Problems: Identifying Some Issues with Leisure

A. Axis of Error

B. Five Problems in Leisure

  1. Not enough
  2. Poor quality
  3. The inability to value leisure apart from work
  4. Guilt over enjoyment of leisure
  5. Leisure as idolatry

III. Theology: Thinking Biblically about Leisure

A. Leisure Is Intended by God

B. Leisure Isn’t a Waste of Time

C. Leisure Can be Corrupted

IV. Ethics: Choosing the Right Activities

A. Leisure Means Choices

B. Social Functions of Leisure

C. Stewardship of Leisure

D. Four Key Questions

  1. Is it helpful? 1 Cor 6:12
  2. Is it tyrannical? 1 Cor 6:12
  3. Is it hurtful? 1 Cor 8:13
  4. Is it worshipful? 1 Cor 10:31

E. Balance and Moderation



  1. This book is by far the single most helpful resource on work and leisure I’m aware of: Leland Ryken, Redeeming the Time: A Christian Approach to Work and Leisure. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995.
  2. Called to Work (the corresponding talks I did on work)

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