Stop Working

By Joel Comiskey, 2022

I like getting things done. I even have a best-selling book on my office bookshelf entitled Getting Things Done.

And yes, getting things done is important. Didn’t Jesus give us the great commission, which basically tells us to get it done? (Matthew 28:18-20)

Most of the JCG blogs, in fact, are about doing, whether we’re talking about evangelism, vision casting, multiplication, or just taking the next step in cell ministry. Yet, all those things require that a cell member, leader, coach, supervisor, or pastor does something. And this requires energy and exertion.

God, however, felt it was necessary to stop getting things done. He stopped his work of creation on the 7th day and chose to rest (Genesis 2:2). Throughout the Bible, God told his people to stop doing regular work (Leviticus 23:21).God even instituted week-long festivals for his people with an important caveat: do not do any regular work.  In the New Testament, Jesus clarifies that  the Sabbath Day was made for our benefit and not a  set of legalistic rules (Mark 2:27). 

Many pastors, members, supervisors, and leaders neglect their rest day to their own peril. I talked to one pastor in Texas who worked incessantly. He slept little, drank coffee all day, never took a day off or vacations, and ate very poorly. He reminded me of a train speeding down a track without a conductor. He was out-of-balance.

Balance means ceasing from thinking about multiplication, cell ministry, supervision, and things to do. It means stopping all regular work in order to rest, seek God, and renew your energy.  How many of us are willing to cease?

When I’m coaching pastors, one of the first things I ask them is whether they are taking a day off. If the answer is negative, I don’t stop there. I come back to the topic of rest on future occasions. My counsel is the same for church members, although clearing out the schedule can be more challenging.

Are you taking one day per week to rest and cease from labor? How about vacations? If not, why not? Do you think that God desires you to be a workhorse all the time? Don’t be one of those leaders who burns out from over-exhaustion.