Congratulations! You’ve almost made it to the halfway mark in the year. You faithfully led the way through Lent and Eastertide. Children will soon be out of school for the summer. Church attendance will ebb and flow as members take vacations and long weekend holidays. As you reflect on what you want to accomplish in the second half of 2022, the beginning of summer is also a good time to perform a wellbeing check-in with yourself. How do you feel these days? What’s your mental, physical and emotional state of being? Are you practicing gratitude and appreciation? What are you doing to effectively relieve stress? Do you have a plan for how you’re going to get the rest you need?
Some people will think these questions are self-centered. After all, aren’t we supposed to be God’s servants who willingly put the needs of others first? Some will ask how we deal with guilty feelings when we do take much-needed time away. What if someone accuses us of not working hard enough? As these internal conflicts arise, let’s remember that Jesus encouraged and seemed to expect the disciples to pull away from the demands of ministry in order to reenergize and rest. He told the disciples after a successful mission of preaching and teaching, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while” (Mark 6:31a).
It is tempting to think that the most important question a leader needs to ask is what needs to get done today or this week. A much more critical question is: How can we create a better rhythm for life and work so that we can serve effectively for years to come? To put it another way: How can we be faithful — flourishing to the glory of God and for the sake of others?
By Kerry McLeish
By David L. Odom
By Eliza Cortés Bast
By Yonat Shimron
Before you go…
What I appreciate about this week’s resources is that they acknowledge that rest looks different at different times for different people. Sometimes rest is sitting on the porch. Other times rest is tending flowers in a garden or taking a long walk. Whichever path we choose, Howard Thurman reminds us that “a music score that provides for no rests, no devaluation of whole notes, would be unbearable at long last.” As you reflect on your productivity this year, consider both what you’ve accomplished and how well you are caring for your soul.
Feel free to contact me and the Alban Weekly team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next week, keep leading!
Editor, Alban at Duke Divinity