Busyness is a Discipleship Problem

Charles Kiser —  August 18, 2011 — 3 Comments

“Busyness is a Discipleship Problem” – Mike Breen

I read that line in Mike Breen’s tweet-feed before the beginning of this summer and it got my attention.

At the time I was planning on making a summer push – starting some new initiatives, ramping up the ministry – all when most of our community takes a slower pace and vacations.

It was a word to me to rest, take it easy, plan less, and let the Storyline Community rest, too. Rest would prepare us to enter the next season of ministry with vigor and anticipation.

So instead of making ministry plans, I made plans to pour into my family life, have some vacation time, and go on a spiritual retreat to connect to God.

I’ve been part of churches where the summertime was mourned because of low turn-out, lower giving, and people “checking out.” I’ve even seen guilt tactics engaged in worship gatherings encouraging people not to take a “spiritual vacation” in the summer.

But what if we church leaders embraced summertimes and Decembers and released people to rest in the Lord, enjoy their families, and recharge? What if we trusted that the world and our ministry would not crumble if we left God to tend to it for a while?

The same questions apply to our individual weekly rhythms: could God take care of us if we chose not to work at least one day a week? What if we turned off our phones and email for a day every week and connected to God instead?

We need to have times of pruning in our churches, times when most, if not all, activity ceases….It looks to many like nothing is happening. But in this time of abiding, great strength is given to those who do the teaching, singing, and serving throughout the rest of the year. – Mike Breen, Building a Discipling Culture

The truth: I’m a different person on this side of the summer of rest than I was before it. God made some significant changes in my heart and relationships this summer through my rest. More than that, I’m charged up and excited to enter a fruitful season of work.

God made us to work. And to rest.

Charles Kiser


I’m a pastor, missionary, and contextual theologian in Dallas, Texas. I’m committed to equipping and coaching Christians to start fresh expressions of Christian community in Dallas County — communities of hospitality, inclusion, justice, and healing.

3 responses to Busyness is a Discipleship Problem


    When I hear the words “busyness” and “church” linked together, I generally think of the weekly classes, events, etc., It does seem not only summer and Christmas seasons have their inordinate share of activities, but throughout the year we are inundated with choices. However, I don’t regard our weekly worship in community on Sundays in the same manner. I don’t feel guilty if I miss an occasional Sunday, but consistent attendance is essential to my spiritual walk. Your point is well taken. Thanks for offering it!


      You’re right, Mr. Gregory. We can even be too busy in seasons of fruitful ministry. We need regular rest even in the midst of our fruitful rhythms. Less is more. We can also squeeze out the most important kinds of activities – service, hospitality to non-church friends and neighbors, etc. – because we are so inundated with “church activities.”

      I also affirm what you’re saying about weekly gatherings. None of this is to say that regular gatherings with spiritual family are not important or even essential for our spiritual health – even in times of rest. They absolutely are. Yet there are seasons where we can really trim down our activity to the bare essentials (like the weekly church gathering) and let people rest.


    Thanks for this very fine blog. You have spoken to me and my too hectic schedule.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s