I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

We’ve all heard the quote before, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”  It’s the ultimate saying that feeds into the go, go, go/pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality.  And this saying doesn’t just apply to corporate America or the workforce in America, but this way of thinking is fully engulfed in the American ministry world.

In student ministry, this way of thinking takes the shape of running the maximum amount of programs or bible studies, attending every sporting event, every school play, hanging out with students whenever they ask you, or meeting with leaders 5 mornings a week.  But in all that craziness, when is your time with God?  When is your time with your spouse?  When is your time with your family?  Friends?

Summer tends to provide opportunities to do those things listed above.  Sit down, relax, spend time with family, do things that energize you, and sit in God’s presence.

This is a tool that we have used to help us balance work and rest.  This was developed by Mike Breen and the 3DM team.  It’s a LifeShape called the Semi-Circle.

This is rooted in John 15, in the understanding of how we can be fruitful, “and that is by recognizing that we will have seasons of growth and seasons of pruning, of work and rest, of advance and of retreat, of doing and of being.”  It’s important to recognize what season you are in and find your balance between work and rest.  Another idea that comes to light in the Semi-Circle through the scriptures is what Genesis 1 and 2 teaches us about how we work from rest, not rest from work.  After God created us on the 6th day, the 7th day, our first day on earth, was a day of rest for us.  After that we begin our work.  Therefore, we work from rest, not rest from work.  It’s important for us to rest in God’s presence in order to work effectively and to be fruitful.  Mike Breen and Alex Absalom phrase it like this in their Huddles Guide, “Everything comes from abiding, or remaining, in Christ (John 15:4-5).  If you want to be fruitful, you must draw everything from Jesus the vine and allow the Father to prune you as He sees fit.”

So maybe the most effective thing that you can do for yourself, your marriage, your family, and your ministry this summer, and in this season, is to abide and rest in God’s presence before you set out to conquer the world.

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Summer Time and the Livin’s Easy

In ministry, summer is such a unique time.  With summer sports and family vacations it tends to be a transient season.  One week you can gather tons of students and the next week it can feel like your ministry just died.  But the amount of opportunity and potential to meet new students and to connect with students can be endless!  For that very reason we tend to go pretty hard after students in the summer.  It just looks differently.

So here’s what we do for the summer:

  • We gather students.  We like to bring students together in more of a large group setting.  Because of the transient season it can be difficult to gather students in our GoCo or medium group sizes.  But we will continue to gather on a weekly basis.  This helps to continue building momentum.
  • We keep the rhythm.  We have found the rhythm of Come, Thrive, GO in our GoCos to be so vital that we continue to keep that going throughout the summer.  We will have weeks where we gather students to pray and worship together.  We will gather to share meals and hangout together.  And we will gather to go and serve in the community.  Also, we have a missions trip that we will be going on.
  • We move around.  We typically don’t gather at our usual GoCo homes.  The summer is a good opportunity to include other families and people in what’s going on.  We will still do some things at our usual homes, but that might just be for a week.

Here’s a few of our goals:

  • Connect students with leaders.  Summer is a great time for our leaders to connect with new students and to continue to pursue and dive deeper into the relationships they already have.
  • Have students gather students.  Just because the flow changes a little doesn’t mean that we want our students to stop going after and being intentional with other students.  We want them to continue serving their friends and to find ways to include them in our GoCo gatherings.
  • Honor Jesus. I know that might sound typical for a student ministry to say, but it’s true.  Just because the season is different doesn’t mean that we change the way we pursue God’s heart and God’s calling.  It doesn’t change the way we relentlessly pursue students and encourage them in their journey with God.  We just want to honor Jesus as we invite students to imitate us as we imitate Christ – 1 Cor. 11:1.