So this month we did something a bit scary: we took a few weeks off to rest. Other than a bit of a Christmas break, we as a band have never gone this long without touring in the middle of the summer season.
To be honest we didn’t schedule it into our summer, God and life scheduled it in (thanks baby Lochlainn, you’re teaching us things already!) But it still felt scary and like a bit of a risk.
This year ministry has been full of exciting and pinch-me moments— the launched a community for ministry leaders called As Family We Go, the release of the first full-length album from our new record label Rend Family Records (Wild Heart, by Urban Rescue), and of course had the joy of worshipping with many of you on the first half of our headline As Family We Go tour.
Months like these past few months are special for so many reasons, they are the answer to prayer, sweat, tears, long nights and early mornings. We are so grateful for all the things God has allowed us to be a part of this year!
So good that it would’ve been easy to not stop.
In the middle of all the doing, it’s hard to slow down and sit at Jesus feet. We’re tempted to keep running on empty instead of slowing down and reflecting on all He’s done.
If we’re honest, we think we’re scared of what we’ll lose if we stop.
So often, especially in ministry, we struggle to really let go and rest. If we’re honest there’s a little part of us that believes we have some sort of power to rescue and save others. Otherwise why would we be afraid of stopping, closing our eyes, and resting from our work?
Sometimes it’s especially hard when the need feels overwhelmingly great. Ministry is full-time because people, brokenness and lives are full-time. Marriages keep breaking, babies need homes, someone needs a ride, someone else needs a meal, there needs to be a shoulder to cry on, someone to comfort, someone to show them they aren’t alone and forgotten.
In the midst of everything, it feels wrong to curl up, turn off your phone, and read a book, or sleep, or go for a run, or sleep some more. It feels selfish, overindulgent.
Besides, won’t God provide the strength we need to get through it?
In 2010 the New York Times published an article stating 50 percent of pastors feel unable to meet the demands of their job, and 52 percent have seen the stress of their vocation negatively impact their family and marriage.
You are not Jesus.
You are not God.
We’re beginning to realise rest is the ultimate act of faith. It says: “I’m not in control, God is. I’m not all-powerful, God is. I’m not the answer to the world’s problems, God is. Jesus is the one who saves, therefore I can rest.”
So we have faith that the power and work of our little band family doesn’t live and die on our team taking a few days off. It even sounds ridiculous to type those words out! No, we rely on Jesus who heals, saves, rescues, restores, cleanses, brings people from death into life.
We don’t know where you are today in your journey. If you’re reading these words and your heart is nodding along, then take this as your permission slip to rest.
If we really believe God uses the weak the humble, then we can embrace our need to take a break and trust the God who causes planets to spin, and water molecules to travel across the earth, and hearts to change will take care of it all.
Ministry isn’t a call on our lives to be saviours, it’s an invitation to a front row seat to watch and participate in God’s redemption of the world.
Fellow leaders, friends, family, if we could go to your house, make you a cup of coffee and sit you down with a good book right now we would. We would tell you that Jesus loves you, and you’re doing a good job, He’s proud of you and loves getting to include you in His story, He wants to hold you while you close your eyes and rest in the knowledge that you are doing enough.
You can be enough because Jesus is more than enough.
So sometime this week, go and rest.
You don’t need to earn it.