A Rhythm of Rest

August 12-September 17 Task List
  • Lead mission trip
  • Launch fall small groups
  • Film three leadership training videos
  • Train new Protege

...it's been a long few weeks.

Fortunately, Rachel and I have nine days away from it all in sunny Seattle.  I'm looking forward to a lot of reading, writing, and caffeination.

On tap are a tour of Starbucks headquarters, the troll and the Lenin Statue in Fremont, perhaps a couple of days in nature, a visit to the Space Needle, and did I mention lots reading and writing in coffeeshops?

Not on tap? Checking my work e-mail.

The last few weeks and months are teaching me some important lessons.

There are no "slow" seasons in ministry, only busy seasons and busier seasons, and I know that's a problem not limited to pastors: entrepreneurs, politicians, activists, and many others face the same struggle.

If I, or anyone else with a demanding role, is going to last—to live, love, and lead for a long time—it's going to take a concerted effort to keep a sustainable rhythm.

Notice that I didn't say a sustainable pace.  It's not about making sure you only work 48.5 hours per week every week.  Some weeks will be sixty or seventy hours.  There will be busy days, busy weeks, busy seasons, but don't fool yourself into thinking that every day, every week, every season can be like that.

I suppose there may be a few notable exceptions, a few people who can go and go and go day after day after day, but for the vast majority of us...

  1. We need to balance our periods of intense activity with real rest,
  2. We need to avoid taking on more than necessary during our already busy times.

I could have done a much better job with both of these this year.

I have taken very little down time, very little time to rest.  There's a reason I still have 5+ weeks of vacation this late in the year... I haven't taken any.

And during two of my busy months, May and August, I managed to pile on a lot of extra work, like 30-40 hours of study for an intensive small group and an eight day mission trip.

Without a sustainable rhythm, we're setting ourselves up for burnout or worse, a crash that sets us back years.

Do you have a sustainable rhythm?

When are you resting?

What do you need to change so that you can last a long time?

Photo Credit: Nova77

Leaders Must Live in Rhythm

A couple of weeks ago NCC had its summer leadership summit.  We typically provide leadership training, and this summer Heather, our Discipleship Pastor, decided to do a series of  TED-style talks around the theme “Leaders must…”

I spoke on living in rhythm.

The other topics/speakers were: