Rest, Refocusing and Fulfilling

Rest, Refocusing and Fulfilling

 
Rest and Renewal
            In Mark 6:31, it would seem that Jesus and His disciples were very busy and occupied with the cares and concerns of pastoral ministry that there was hardly time to eat and drink. Accordingly, Jesus gave the command,  “’Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat” (NKJV). During the past weekend, pastors, administrators and spouses paused for a most needed time of relaxation and re-bonding in the first Atlantic Caribbean Union Ministerial Retreat. Though a short weekend, the time was well spent in renewal and rest from the weekly duty and service. Inarguably, this is crucial if one is to pastor and administrate effectively and passionately.
 
Refocusing on the Call
            As already noted, the objective of the Retreat was not just to rest and relax but also to do so with purpose. Included in that purpose was to refocus on the call to ministry as seen in the example of Christ’s statement of Matthew 20:28: “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (NKJV). It was clearly underscored in the theme for the weekend that Ministry is all about service, and it is to service that each pastor and church administrator is called. When that fact is forgotten, ministry is compromised and lacks focus, passion and compassion. Therefore, the words of Mother Teresa were placed strategically on the program booklet. She contends, “God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.” This call is to be faithful in wherever I am called to serve; faithful in preparing and teaching and preaching His word; faithful in providing quality time in reaching out to members through visitation and being accessible to them. Hopefully, the words of Mother Teresa will be transcribed on our hearts.
 
Fulfilling the Mission
            Apart from revisiting the call to ministry is the need to be about our “Father’s business.” That business is clearly enunciated by Jesus in Matthew 28:19, 20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (NKJV). It is possible to be in “ministry” and overlook this mission statement of Christ. The same applies to other professions, as it is possible to just do the daily and weekly duties without a sense of purpose and direction. However, when one is deliberately pausing from time to time to answer the questions, “Who am I?” “What am I doing here?” “What is my purpose?” it is then that ministry; it is then that service takes on purpose and meaning. It is then that one is focused in carrying out the mandate of Christ, which is to “go”, “teach”, “make disciples” and “baptize.” As such we do ministry, not as job per se but in fulfillment to our Lord’s command. We ought to view it as a privilege to be co-laborers with Christ in the greatest service- and that is leading men and women, and boys and girls to know Christ. What an honor!