“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.