This past weekend I went winter camping with some friends in the Adirondack Mountains. You might wonder, “Why would anyone go winter camping?”
It’s something so different from what I do that it enables me to take a step back and gain a new perspective. It’s a retreat, which is something I need. In fact one thing that I’ve learned over the last 10 years of youth ministry is that:
WE ALL NEED REST
Youth ministry is a grind. It’s something that will use your emotional, mental and physical energy all at the same time. A great day can be followed by the “WORST DAY EVER” and you just don’t know whether or not you can go on.
To withstand the grind it’s important we know how to rest. And in youth ministry that means:
EMBRACING WHAT YOU LOVE
There are going to be tasks or experiences that motivate you. Embracing these opportunities are an important part of finding rest. They help you escape from the craziness the world can bring.
Make a list and put them in your schedule. Offer them up to God as a chance to reflect. But, keep in mind that while it’s important to do what you love not to over do it at the same time.
KNOWING WHEN TO SHUT IT DOWN
It’s easy to be connected 24/7, but it doesn’t mean we should be. One of the reasons parents, teens and church people are invading your “ME” time is because you let them.
Pick a time in your day where you can shut it off and rest. Communicate that to people so they get into the habit of respecting those times. Have someone hold you accountable so that you keep those times firm.
CHANGING UP THE ROUTINE
Sometimes all you need is a change of pace to get some rest Take a day or two to just clear your mind. Be creative and:
- Go for a hike.
- Visit a museum.
- Walk around the zoo.
- Volunteer in a soup kitchen.
Get out of the office, change up your routine and do something different to clear your mind.
DOING SOMETHING CREATIVE
It’s easy to just sit down in front of a television, but it’s not always the most refreshing thing in the world. Instead try something that challenges you to think outside the box.
Maybe it’s taking a cooking or art class. Pick up an instrument and learn a few melodies. When you can be creative you can create an outlet from the craziness.
Your calendar doesn’t have to be jam packed. In fact it’s okay to have a little margin. Use that time to sit, think and even grab a few z’s. It’s during those moments you can breathe and open yourself to hearing God’s voice.
Rest is key to going the distance in ministry. It allows you to refocus and refreshen your mind. You can use it to grow stronger and most important reconnect with where God is taking you.
Question: How do you wind down and find rest? You can leave a comment by clicking here.