Jesus calls to us, “Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
We understand the words, but how do we rest?
Weariness and fatigue are real and cannot be ignored or avoided. It is not just being tired. It is much deeper. Weariness and fatigue are the body’s way of telling us to stop.
One very real way to stop it is to rest.
Rest is a small word that sounds so simple, but do we truly take the time to rest? Let’s explore some ways that we could relieve some of our mental and physical burdens.
Decision-making and rest
We each have gifts and are called to serve in different ways. We cannot be everything to everyone, even when our community may have these expectations. So, let’s explore some practical ways to schedule time and relieve some of our mental and physical burdens.
In the course, “Church Business is a Ministry,” we funnel ideas, projects, and activities through a decision tree to align our actions with our Mission Statement. One of the points is considering the resources available to proceed with an action. This point can help us discern how and when to rest.
We can ask, “Will this investment of our resources (including time, talent, and treasure) actually move us closer to the work God has called us to, or is it a distraction?” It might be a worthwhile cause, but if it isn’t aligned with your core mission, it’s a distraction. Good decision-making and leadership is about knowing when to say “no” as much as when to say “yes!”
It is okay to say “NO” if the resources of time, talent, and finance are not accessible. This can open up avenues of rest for our individual work in the church and for the church as a whole.
Reaching out to others to spend time more wisely
Nothing can cause burnout faster than feeling overwhelmed and stretched beyond one’s limits and skill set. Another avenue in resourcing a proposed or current project is to reach out to wise counsel. We do this by enlisting the talents and calling on others who have an expertise in a particular field, whether volunteer or paid professional.
For example, if a website needs to be designed, reach out to a marketing expert. A one hour consultation could save hours of time and brainpower in an area that is not your expertise. An expert can go beyond what looks or feels right and direct the focus of the intended message to align with the mission.
And reaching out to others doesn’t mean just to professionals. For example, the creation of a care team to assist with home visits (even via Zoom or over the phone) can help a community share in the ministry. In Church Business is a Ministry, we look at both technical and visionary areas to define and resource, as well as guide and prioritize, the activities of the church. By using the decision tree, we can more easily focus resources in the direction of the mission of the ministry. We can also discover and implement processes that will give us as leaders the time and space to rest.
Continuing the Matthew 11 passage:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Take heart, share the load, work in community with the gifts of others, set boundaries and use the ease and stability of good processes to give yourself the time and space to rest.