Imagine for a moment it is a few days after Labor Day later this year. Your laptop is fired up while some really good music plays in the background. You are sipping a warm cup of great coffee in the middle of a very busy week. You are filled with excitement as you review the plans for the fall ministry season at your church. The energy level of you and your team is peaking. You are full of anticipation for all that God can do as the 2019 ministry year races to a close.
Getting to a place like this a few months from now will not happen by accident. You will need to prepare if you want a similar story to unfold for you and your team this fall.
What can you do this summer to be prepared for a great fall ministry season?
One of the most significant ways we get there is to ensure this summer has a healthy rhythm of work and rest.
My son is a drummer. His ability to keep rhythm has always been amazing to me. Listening to him use his hands and feet to make noises that blend so well with a band on a Sunday morning at church never gets old. He also played snare drum for his high school marching band. Listening to five elite snare drummers play in unison is remarkable!
I am not a drummer. Actually, I have a tough time clapping on rhythm during a worship gathering. Worse yet, put a snare drum in front of me or set me in a drum kit and all you would get is noise. There would be absolutely no rhythm to the noise I would make.
Life is meant to have a rhythm.
We find this rhythm in the creation story. God worked six days and rested one. He made the seventh day holy to be set aside to rest. And with that dynamic, He created the rhythm of life. Work six, rest one. When we follow His rhythm, our life will have rhythm. If that isn’t our pattern, our life and work will sound and feel like me on the drum set trying to make music. When our lives do have a rhythm like the one God created, it would be like my son helping a dynamic band stay on time as they make wonderful music.
What could a healthy rhythm of work and rest look like for you this summer?
Consider a few ideas below as you process what that could look like for you and your team. Commit right now to develop a plan for June, July, and August to work hard and rest well. Put that plan on paper. Calendar the necessary items and log important task somewhere with timestamped reminders.
Think about these ideas:
How are you going to rest?
Hopefully, you have already made vacation plans. If you haven’t stop and do that right now! Block at least a week plus to be completely unplugged from the daily ministry grind. If you can get two weeks in a row away from it all, even better! If you cannot afford to get away to a destination then plan a staycation. Do not let money deter you from unplugging at least one full week this summer.
How are you going to grow?
What is your Bible reading plan for this summer? If you do not have one, stop right now and figure out a plan. Maybe it is a fresh reading of the Gospels or a couple of Paul’s letters. Are there a couple of books you have been meaning to read or know you should? Choose at least one for each month this summer. Pick something that will challenge you in an area where you know you need some wisdom and insight.
Who is in your life that you could connect with a couple of times this summer to help you process your leadership lids, blindspots, and biggest challenges right now? Write them an email this week and get them in your summer calendar. The suggestions are endless, but unless we have summer growth mapped out, we will fall well short of what could have been.
When do you plan to dream?
Hopefully, the pace of ministry this summer will be a little slower than normal. The slower pace often opens up bandwidth to dream. Block a few hours per week and a few full days this summer to invite God to give you fresh eyes for the fall ministry season and the 2020 ministry year. Make sure you calendar those dates and keep those appointments!
How are you going to connect?
The importance of healthy and meaningful relationships for church leaders cannot be overstated. How can you use summer to deepen some of your most meaningful relationships? What kind of rhythm could you put into place to help your relationships deepen? Determine a plan, reach out to those people, and get those dates in your calendar.
Summer can be a powerful time to reload our energy and emotional tanks. For that to be the case, we have to have a plan. Do you have a plan? If so, great! Work that plan. If not, please use this blog as inspiration to develop a plan. We will be glad we did when our calendars change to September.