So every August we kinda shut down a little bit at our church. We loosely base this on something from the Old Testament, and we call it Jubilee. We cancel our mid-week services, put the LifeGroups on hold, and encourage everyone to “go away.” This gives a much-needed rest to leaders and key volunteers-even some of our staff. Sending everyone away and cancelling services may not be the best church growth strategy, but we do think it’s important. Here’s why…
With the NFL season starting soon, this break gives me time to really research players in light of the upcoming Bethel Fantasy Football Draft…OK, that’s not the real reason.
The real reason has to do with one word: REST.
God rested on the seventh day. Jesus got away from the crowds on multiple occasions to spend time with just His disciples or just His Father. The Holy Spirit even led people to wilderness places, because they needed to get away for a season.
If we see such a strong pattern of rest in the Divine Godhead, why would we possibly think we could do without it?
I’ve found that rest is ESSENTIAL if you are going to be the person God wants you to be. Here are three reasons I think it is so important.
1. Rest gives us time to reflect.
You are too busy. I don’t know who may be reading this, but I am pretty convinced this is true for the vast majority of the people to whom I minister. Schedules are crazy. People are working longer hours than ever. Chaos is the norm. It’s so hard to think clearly amidst chaos. When we take a break, it gives us time to evaluate our priorities and make sure we are giving proper attention to the most important things.
2. Rest gives us time for relationships.
When we talk about priorities, relationships usually shoot right to the top of the list. When people on their deathbed look back at their life, very few talk about how they wish they worked more. Their regrets usually revolve around not enough time spent with spouses, children, and grandchildren. Relationships are an extremely important part of our lives, yet most of us do not give these the proper attention. Rest allows us to spend more time with those who deserve it. The American paradigm has many people so busy, they don’t have time for each other. Add to that the fact that so much of our “relating” is done via text messages and emails, and we can really become out of touch. Take some time to focus on the important relationships in your life, including the MOST IMPORTANT relationship - your relationship with God!
3. Rest gives us time to be refreshed.
Life’s busyness is a constant drain on our energy— physically, emotionally, even spiritually.
If we don’t take time to refresh ourselves, it will hurt us and the ones we love. Patience dwindles. Irritability rises. Crankiness ensues. Sound familiar? When we rest we allow our batteries to recharge, so we are more ready to push ahead.
So here are some ideas that might help you get some MUCH NEEDED REST:
* Take a vacation. You work too much and your family misses you.
* Take your spouse on a date—no kids! How long has it been?
* Go golf. (Had to throw that in there.)
* Start a new Bible reading plan.
* Switch translations to give you a fresh perspective.
* Re-evaluate your priorities.
* Eliminate UNNECESSARY things from your schedule. (Not church.
I’m thinking more about your child’s fourth athletic team or third
dance class. Just a thought.)
* GET SOME REST!!!!
Now get out there and enjoy some of this summer. I live in NY, and it will probably start snowing next month…so I better get to it!!!!
If this blessed you, be sure to like and share. Thanks!