In the midst of doing ministry, it’s easy to get caught in a routine that becomes about responding to the issues of the moment. Whatever is urgent consumes time and attention, and there’s always something (or someone) screaming for attention. And by always being “on,” we tend to pay more attention to the issues of the urgent rather than the issues of the soul.
When we do this, we miss the God-moments because of the crisis-moments. Too much of being “on” will cause one’s heart to dry up and harden to God and his ways. But when we remove ourselves from the pace of ministry (and work, relationships, and life in general), we can recognize the dryness of the heart. Occasional time away allows leaders to hear from God, be refreshed, and focus on the depth of their own heart for God.
Most youth leaders don’t take breaks because they believe either they’re invincible or that ministry won’t get done without them. e result: volunteers who are moving too fast, allowing their passion for God to slow down. Does that describe you? Are you so busy doing ministry that you don’t even really want to take the time to read this?
Imagine for a moment that you have no plans tomorrow. No work, no meetings, no small groups, no youth events—absolutely no agenda for you to fulfill. No one needs your time. What are you going to do with the day? Do you think, “Wow, nothing to do! at’s perfect! I’ve got a lot to catch up on”? Are you someone who always has to be moving, busy, doing something? Or could you envision yourself putting everything on hold and being still before God—recharging that connection?
I understand it’s not very realistic to have a lot of leisure time as a youth ministry volunteer; your life is probably packed. But commit to finding regular ways to recharge your spiritual battery—and encourage others to do the same—then everyone will win.
Call these breaks your mini-vacation. Look for time in your schedule when you can rest, be still, read, experience silence, and just sit and listen for God’s Spirit to tell you something. Remember, even Jesus took breaks away from the crowd and activity (and that was as God). Jesus knew that rest and time away were essential ingredients for his ministry. It’s an essential for you, too.
Connect to God's Word:
“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.’ You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift!” —Isaiah 30:15-16
• Describe a time you really experienced rest. How did you feel after you rested?
• What do you have a difficult time trusting God with? How does your lack of trust affect you?