Friday, 2 April 2010

Rest - refreshment from elsewhere

Another thing that can help in refreshing us is to take up an interest beyond ministry. Bird watching? Train spotting? Golf? Give yourself to something else for that time. For me it’s sport. I've always loved playing sports - I watch sport and have all the Sky Sport channels. I think all church leaders need Sky Sports (more high fives!)… Deb is different (surprise!) - she reads. What is your other interest that takes you out of this goldfish bowl?

Also friendship is important. Now for some of you this is an area of pain. If you are involved in a church plant and you’ve moved from your home town and church then you’re just longing for someone to connect with. And it’s complicated in ministry. You have to be intentional about making good friends in such situations – it might not ‘just happen’ by itself. You need to connect with some people that fuel you and don’t drain you. Some people I’ve seen are so compassionate that they spend all their time with those that they are pouring their lives into. Sometimes this can be feeding a lack or void within – but true friendship is essential.

I’m a task orientated person. As a result I have come to the topic of rest and seen it as a task! After 6 years of leading a church I realised that the prospect of doing what I was doing for 30 – 40 years was daunting. In making rest a task I plan ahead for it. So, the first things that go into my diary each year are my holidays, all my time off and my study breaks. These are all essential for my sense of well-being and my ability to stay the course long-term. I’m not suggesting that you must do this in the same way but I would say that you need to take the principle of rest as a task and apply it to your own life and situation.