I recently took a group of 40 college students to Passion 2019. The Passion conference is an event where 40,000 young adults gather to lift the name of Jesus as we enter a new year. Sounds awesome, right?
This trip also consisted of renting vans to drive from Orland Park, IL to Washington D.C., which is over 700 miles. That is a total of 24 hours in a van over the course of 4 days.
YOU GUYS, I didn’t want to go!
Coming out of the Christmas season with 24 Christmas services, having my huge family all stay in my grandparents’ house for a week, and non-stop Christmas shopping, I wasn’t ready. I was tired of people. I was physically done. Mentally, I was unprepared for what was to come. I had a bad attitude, and I was in no place to lead. BUT, someone had to do it.
As I drove to the church at 6:00 am, the first day of the New Year, my mind raced about the details of the trip as I was thinking through every little piece. My eyes were tired coming off a week of little sleep. I blasted music in hopes that it would pump me up, but I turned it off almost as quickly as I turned it on annoyed at the noise. Then, there was silence. I hadn’t had this for a month. In the stillness, the verse, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28), ran through my mind.
In the quiet, Jesus spoke.
I went a whole month, a month that is supposed to be focused on Jesus, blocking Jesus out completely. Rest found me. It may have been only 15 minutes in a car before more chaos hit again, but it was just what I needed before I entered a new season of ministry.
It is so crucial to find quiet moments to let Jesus speak. One moment doesn’t last long, so make room for those moments often. I’ve discovered that when I am rested, I can become refreshed. Looking at the new year ahead of me, I had no idea that a four-day trip with 40 college students was going to revive me. In all honesty, it should have drained me.
It wasn’t the crazy loud, engaging worship or the phenomenal speakers that were key to refreshing my mind and my soul. It was the moments of conversation. It was a student who became raw and vulnerable about the struggles of freshmen year, who came to realize the need to find a church near his school. It was the student who seemed to have a perfect Christian life throughout junior high and high school who finally opened up about her broken home. It was the student who left the church after high school who showed up and recommitted his life to Christ. Each student had been connected to junior high ministry as a kid, and although they may not have had profound God moments that I saw back then, they were opening up now.
I know we don’t always get to see the fruits of our ministry, but Jesus knew this was what I needed to excite me about a new year of ministry!
- Take moments to look back at what God has done in your ministry. There is nothing more encouraging than reminding ourselves of all God has done in the past. Due to the pace and demand of our lives – as well as our short memories – it’s easy to forget the victories and strength He’s brought to us along the way.
- Take moments to look at what God is doing. Using the past to fuel our present mindset is great, but it’s important we don’t stay there. God is active in our lives and ministries today and continuously works all things together for our good and His glory.
- Seek out moments of rest. Movement is great. We have to be about our Father’s business. We have budget’s to prepare, parents to serve, kids to love, and bosses to honor…not to mention our personal lives!
In all we do, we must take time to rest, for in your rest, you’ll feel refreshed.
Haley got dragged to a youth ministry by a friend when she was 12 years old and hasn’t been able to leave ever since! She started serving in junior high ministry back in 2006 and now leads the Junior High program at Parkview Christian Church. Her heart is for the lost, infinity scarves, and family.