I've just returned from a few weeks leave from my Magnification pastor role. Three weeks of no calls, messages or emails (if you haven't checked out inbox pausing, you need to!). The rest was palpable. And what I felt more than anything (especially now being back in the thick of it again!) was some relief from the constant pressures of 'this coming weekend'.
Our ministry as magnification leaders is inherently ongoing and incomplete. Our work will never be 'done' until Christ comes again (and even then...but that's a thought for another day...!) Come Monday, or attention must be looking towards next weekend...and the next...and the next...
But this constancy sits sits side by side with the concern that each particular gathering is significant. Hopefully we all are convinced of how encouraging it is when we meet together around Christ. Our gathered times of sitting under God's Word, serving one another, singing and sharing are so important to remind us of the gospel, reorient our priorities and equip us to live out our worship 24/7 in joyful faith, obedience and sacrifice.
And we also should rightly have a concern for those who might join us who are not yet followers of Jesus. Their presence with us on the weekend may be the cumulation of months...even years...of encouragement from their friends and families. We want their first impression of church to be one that is compelling and positive...that they might want to come back again.
So with this constant pressure inherent in our roles, there's a danger we need to be constantly aware of - the danger of looking to completion as the way the pressures or anxieties that come with our role will be relieved. Here's how it sounds in my head..."Once we've got ____sorted...then I'll be able to find some rest."
There always will (and should be!) more coming. So if we're banking on a break from this, holidays will be a taste of relief, but they won't be the answer - its all there when you get back again! We must be able to find rest in the midst of work that is inherently ongoing, and always eternally significance.
Don’t look elsewhere - to completion, or approval (or holidays!) - for what only Christ can provide. In the midst of your ministry, and in the midst of anxieties and pressures that come with it, come to him again and again for rest.