Ministry Leaders Must Make Rest a Priority

fishing
(Jason Rogers)

Have you ever wondered what is happening to churches today? Many have lost their sense of purpose, floundering for identity, in a sea of hundreds of other churches competing for the same people.

Approximately 80 percent of “church growth” numbers can be attributed to people transferring from one church to another rather than new converts. As many as 3,000-4,000 churches close their doors every year—unable to stay open due to financial burdens, infrastructural turmoil and apathy.

In this discouraging environment, day in and day out, pastors and church leaders toil for the kingdom of God. Often overworked, underpaid and unappreciated, they deny themselves the luxury of time for rest and spiritual renewal. Is it any wonder that more than 1,500 pastors leave their churches every month due to spiritual burn-out, moral failure or contention within their congregation?

Jesus himself often made it a practice to withdraw from the crowd for a time of rest and prayer. One example of this is found in Mark 6:46, which tells us, “And when He had sent them away, He departed to the mountain to pray.”

With that example in mind, how can we expect our pastors and other church leaders to keep up the unrelenting demands of ministry without specific times set aside for healing and restoration? They must make it a priority to take time out from the 24/7 demands of the ministry, and focus on their personal relationships with the Lord before they reach a critical stage of burnout.

Unfortunately, typical vacation destinations are often unsuitable for someone seeking a place of quiet and solitude in order to reflect and pray. The distractions of noisy crowds, loud music and surrounding activities are hardly the atmosphere most conducive to an atmosphere of rest and inner healing.

For this reason, there are special places that God has provided and ordained where this can happen. Such places should include these three basic components: 1) quiet and peaceful; 2) rustic and quaint facilities; and 3) a staff of experienced and trained leaders equipped to counsel and help in all leadership dynamics. Capernaum Inn, located in central Florida, was designed with these components in mind and ministers exclusively to the needs of weary and hurting pastors and church leaders.

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). When provided with a peaceful environment in which to rest and renew, these men of God can then be empowered to carry on with renewed strength and a fresh anointing.

Jim Way has a degree in theology and is the president of Capernaum Ministries. Capernaum Inn Christian Leadership Center, located in Lake Wales, Fla., opened its doors in March 2010. More information can be found on their website at capernaumministries.com.


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