Thursday, June 18, 2009

R and R

June 18, 2009

The life of Jesus. Read Today: 12 return and they withdraw; Matthew 14:13; Mark 6:30-32; Luke 9:10; John 6:1

Many churches use volunteers to do much of the ministry in the church. It seems to be a good thing, staff are not needed as much and cost can be kept down if the volunteers do most of the work. The problems happen though, when only a few people are doing a lot of the work.

My current church is good about that. They make sure that people get to go to church as well as serve and on the services that are missed because of schedules, the service is recorded and CDs are made available. At the end of the year an appreciation banquet is given to let all who serve know they are appreciated.

But it was not always that way in churches I have been in. I remember one that I was asked to do sound in. Since I knew computers I became the IT guy. I had some time on the weekends so I cleaned the church. In fact I can remember one Sunday when we had a meal to invite people in I came in at 8:30 AM and did not leave till 10:00 PM. And not one thank you from the people for all the work I had done, and in fact at points in time I was the only one there.

You could say I let my self be used, and you would be right. I learned one thing that year. Burnout is not good. In serving God, you do no good if you do not take care of yourself. In fact, for years afterward I was reluctant do volunteer much at all.

Jesus faced the same thing. At one point he sent the disciples out to do the ministry on their own. They did many great things. But when they returned Jesus made sure of one thing:

Mark 6:30-31 BBE
(30) And the twelve came together to Jesus; and they gave him an account of all the things they had done, and all they had been teaching.
(31) And he said to them, Come away by yourselves to a quiet place, and take a rest for a time. Because there were a great number coming and going, and they had no time even for food.

Notice, they had a time to debrief, tell Jesus what had happened. Then Jesus made sure that they got a little rest and relaxation. He knew that they would not be able to serve others if they were drained themselves.

As you get involved in ministry remember the sponge principle. A sponge must soak up water before it can give out any. If you squeeze the sponge out, it will be dry. Likewise, if you give out more than you take in spiritually you will be dry. Take some time to rest even in the middle of ministry.

Read for tomorrow: Jesus teaches and heals the multitude; Matthew 14:14; Mark 6:33-34; Luke 9:11; John 6:2
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