Recently I did a poll on my Instagram, asking people how they were doing and what they were struggling with. There was an immediate and overwhelming response: people are tired. And as leaders, we feel it too. We are not only carrying the weight and stress of our own lives, families and ministries, but also the weight and stress of those we lead. Is there a way for us to lead healthily, so that we don’t burn out in the days ahead? There is.

 

It’s taken me a long time to learn this. I’ve spent a lot of my life finding my identity in my productivity. The busier I was, the more successful I felt. In fact, I’ll just raise my hand and be blatantly honest with you:  I’ve made the effectiveness and efficiency of my ministry an idol, and I’ve traded being with God and being with people for being a fast-paced machine producing for God and for people. In pursuit of the mission of Jesus, I’ve often neglected spending time with Jesus and His people, missing the mission completely.


How (Not) to Save the World: The Truth About Revealing God’s Love to the People Right Next to You

Do you want to fight for the people you love and show others how valuable they are to God? There is a way, and you are more equipped than you know.

Regular Price: $18.99

Sale Price: $13.29 (save 30%)

 


From Jesus we learn a rhythm of resting and a lifestyle of retreating and drawing closer to God. We have story after story of Jesus resting, praying, and spending time alone with God, even when others were eager for His time, and we have stacks of stories of Jesus eating with and enjoying time with His friends.

When we see the example of the life and rhythms of Jesus and we ignore it, is it because we think we are greater than Him? Do we think we need to outdo Him? Do we feel we need to work harder than Him? Do we think He punched out on His timecard too frequently? Do we think, perhaps, if Jesus didn’t rest as much, His life could have been more effective?

Sometimes I can be so obsessed with being a hard worker for God that I forget to rest and take delight in spending time with Him.

Like you, I love serving God’s church. I want to answer God’s call and be as effective as possible. That’s a good thing. But if we are not careful, we can become a slave to ministry, a slave to productivity, a slave to the checklist, and never fully allow these words in Galatians 4:7 to change our lives: “You are no longer a slave but God’s own child” (NLT).

I’ve known this verse most of my life, and whenever I’ve heard it, I’ve always basked in the beautiful truth of how Jesus came to set me free from sin, from my past insecurities, from living defined by my hurts. I never once considered the other things—the noble, seemingly good things that I had chosen to be chained to. For those of us who love Jesus and have dedicated our lives to obeying Him and living on mission for Him, if we replace worshipping Jesus the person with worshipping Jesus’ mission, we can go from one form of slavery to another. We have been set free from sin, but some of us are so used to being chained that we have now bound ourselves to workaholism or the drive to do as much ministry work as possible, and we are living chained to our accomplishments and newfound checklists instead of living in the freedom of being God’s children.

In my new book How (Not) to Save the World, I talk about 14 lies I have believed that have held me back from effectively sharing God’s love with those around me. One of the lies is: “Never Take a Breath.” Never taking a breath is how (not) to save the world because it’s the opposite of the full, abundant life Jesus came to give us. We know from plenty of profound prose in Scripture that God has many plans for us—wonderful, life-giving ones! But He chose first to be in a relationship with us before He made any plans (Eph. 1:4). Many of us choose to skip the relationship and eagerly start all the plans. We find it easy to tell people in our churches to rest and take care of themselves, and yet we can so easily neglect it ourselves.

My fellow leaders: We don’t know what the days ahead hold for us, but what we do know is that Jesus has given us a template for how to be a healthy leader in uncertain times. The key is to rest in God, to enjoy Him and His creation, to spend time with Him refilling our hearts before we pour out again to others. The key is to be filled with His power and found in His presence, before we go forth to the people around us. Are you going forth filled with His power? Or are you going in your own?


How (Not) to Save the World: The Truth About Revealing God’s Love to the People Right Next to You

Do you want to fight for the people you love and show others how valuable they are to God? There is a way, and you are more equipped than you know.

Regular Price: $18.99

Sale Price: $13.29 (save 30%)

 


Jesus clarified that “the Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27 MSG). Retreating, resting, and refueling with God and His people are made to serve us, fill us, and provide us the abundant life Jesus came to give us. We are invited to rest and enjoy a relationship with God the Father and also say yes to what He has called us to do. We can do both. Jesus did both. We are given a beautiful example of doing both, living in abundance as well as living on mission to share that abundance. Rest is does not take you away from your mission. Rest is a part of the life God calls you to.

The lie is that to live on the Jesus mission, we need to live depleted, overwhelmed, and exhausted.

The truth is that Jesus rested, and Jesus saved the world.

 

Hosanna Wong’s new book How (Not) to Save the World will equip your church with the tools needed to effectively show God’s love to the people in your community. Hosanna will help readers overcome lies that hold us back so we can discover how to naturally talk about Jesus, and empower others to encounter God. Bulk discounts available. Email community@hosannawong.com for bulk orders. Small group curriculum will be released in 2022. Visit hownottosavetheworld.com to get your copies!

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