One of the biggest struggles technical leaders face is burnout. Maybe you’ve heard this before: “My worship leader doesn’t get me, my pastor doesn’t get me….” Or, “many of us may feel like we are nothing more than a cog in a machine, showing up each week to fix gear and run services with little or no control over our direction or destiny.”
Maybe you’ve experienced not being able to turn your mind off dreaming about a project or losing sleep the night before a service wondering what might go wrong.
All of these are signs you need to rest. You need time away from your work so you can remember who you are apart from your work. Then, you can come back to work renewed. How do you do this? You must learn to work from a place of rest.
What is rest?
Rest is more than going home and binging Netflix or catching up on sleep. Rest is not about relaxation or taking it easy, rest is about renewal. When you rest, you take time away from work to commune with God and have Him meet the deepest needs of your soul.
Here’s a deeper glimpse at what true rest looks like:
Rest is an act of faith
Resting is the act of acknowledging who’s in control of your life.
Work, at its most basic form, is a way to provide for ourselves and family – water, food, shelter, etc. To take a break from work is to not provide for yourself, but to acknowledge God is the one who provides for you.
Rest is essentially saying God, I trust you. My work is not a means to provide for myself, You are my provider. So I take time to rest and be still, knowing You are in control of my life and it’s good for me to trust in You.
Rest is an act of giving up control, entrusting your life to God.
Rest prevents work from becoming an idol
Work is good. Work was given to us by God, but it’s broken by sin. Your work can easily become an addiction.
You’ll be tempted to choose work over family and friends. You will be tempted to use work as a means to make a name for yourself. You might even love your work instead of using your work to love your neighbors and the world.
Rest breaks the cycle of work-addiction. Rest reminds us the purpose of our work is to glorify God and serve others in love.
Rest is an act of worship
The purpose of rest is worship, to spend time communing with God and responding to all He has done and is doing in your life. When you rest, spend time with God. Seek Him and listen to what He has to say to you. Be reminded your identity is in Him, not in the work you do. Rest is sitting in God’s presence and being made new.
How to work from a place of rest
This is what it means to work from a place of rest: we rest first and are renewed by God, then we are sent out to work. Rest isn’t a state we stay in forever. Rest renews us so we can return to the work God has for us.
Working from rest is working in freedom. Instead of focusing on your own success and accomplishments, you are free to focus on others – how they’re growing and being used by God. You don’t have to compare yourself to others, you are free to do the work God has given you without fear of burnout or stress.
You are free to worship. You can work knowing God is in control of your life. The unforeseen challenges and setbacks are something God will use to shape you.
You are free to work with God instead of working for Him. It’s easy to work so much you completely miss spending time with God as you work. We were designed to live in constant communion with God. Whether we are at rest or at work, we commune with God. Working from a place of rest frees us to continue walking with God as we work.
How do you rest?
We can talk about rest all day long but none of it matters until you take time to physically stop your work and rest in God. You must develop your own habits of rest.
Rest looks different for everyone. What does it look like for you? Maybe you reflect on past journals you’ve written. Maybe you pull out your guitar and play. Maybe you go for a long drive to clear your mind.
There are plenty of ways to rest and meet with God outside of the overtly “Christian” things like reading your Bible and praying. What works best for you? What activity brings you life and allows you to hear from God?
Your work is important, but rest is equally important because rest is how you meet with God. How do you rest on a regular basis? How is God calling you into a place of rest to meet with Him? Finally, how is God calling you back to your work from a place of rest and renewal?