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The Jesus Model of Ministry: Relaxation

The Jesus Model of Ministry: Relaxation

Rest and relaxation are so important that God put them in the Ten Commandments. God tells us to rest every seventh day. If you’re not taking a day off every week, you’re breaking one of the Ten Commandmentsand you won’t be as effective as you could be in ministry (or anything else you do).

Jesus reminds us in Mark 2:27 that the command to take a Sabbath is for our own benefit: “Man was not given for the Sabbath but the Sabbath was given for man.” God gave us the Sabbath to help us to rest and restore. Our bodies need it.

Jesus modeled this in his own ministry, and we need to model it in our ministries.

Relaxation: We need to take time to enjoy life.

Mark 6:31-32 says, “Because so many people were coming and going that they didn’t even have a chance to eat, [Jesus] said to them, `Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’” (NIV). In other words, Jesus said, “Fellows, you deserve a break today. Come to the desert and we’re going to rest.”

Jesus modeled this God-created need to rest and relax. I’m more and more convinced of the importance of balance in ministry. All areas of our lives need to be balanced. There is an ebb and flow in ministry, a time when you give out and a time when you receive, a time when you work and a time when you rest. Ecclesiastes says, “There’s a time for everything in life”to laugh, to cry, to build up, and to tear down.

The Bible says in Matthew 11:19 that Jesus came enjoying life (PHILLIPS). You don’t hear many theologians talking about that verse. They talk about Jesus the old sourpuss. Have you noticed on TV that the media always shows Jesus with a sour, dour, very serious face? But the Bible says, Jesus came enjoying life. He survived stress by enjoying life.

God wants you to do that. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:17, God richly gives us everything to enjoy (NCV). As we use it for his glory, we also get to enjoy it at the same time.

Balance is a key to stress management. I constantly remind my staff to:

Divert daily – Take a mini-vacation every day to recharge.

Withdraw weekly – Take a day off every week.

Abandon annually – Take an extended period of time off every year. Jesus rested regularly because he knew God designed us to need rest, but also because he was being obedient to the commands of God.

Read the rest of the Jesus Model for Ministry articles:

The Jesus Model of Ministry: Identification

The Jesus Model of Ministry: Motivation

The Jesus Model of Ministry: Concentration

The Jesus Model of Ministry: Dedication

The Jesus Model of Ministry: Delegation

The Jesus Model of Ministry: Meditation

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