A Summer Rest: An Introduction
Brian Kirkland | Community Groups Pastor
In the early days of RADIUS Church we liked to run as fast as we could, as long as we could, while taking as few breaks as we could. In many ways this desire came from a good place: we were passionate about what the Lord was doing in our lives and in the lives of our community, and we wanted to share that with as many people as possible. In other ways it came from a less mature stance: we were young and a bit naïve, and did not realize the Christian journey was more like a marathon than a sprint. On our worst days this desire came from a very dangerous spot: our identities were misplaced in the things we could accomplish rather than in being a child of God, and we were arrogant in feeling that we could sometimes run faster than others.
As RADIUS has gotten older, our views on work and rest have continued to mature. Don’t get me wrong, a core marker of who we are as a church is to be in a posture of movement – knees bent, on our toes, ready to dash when God calls us ahead in mission. In short, we still believe deeply that God wants us to hustle for His sake. But as we’ve frequently stated over the past year, the first part of what it means to be a priest is to rest in the Gospel, and we recognize that the deep soul rest that comes from trusting God must have outward implications in the way we structure our time.
Moving forward we want to better imitate God’s rhythms of work and rest found in scripture; after all, He stopped His work on the seventh day to delight in Himself and His creation, and we want to bear His image in everything we do. One of the practical ways this manifests itself is with how we structure our church calendar. As such, we will be more intentional about viewing the Fall and Spring as seasons for us to work as hard as we can, while taking a pause in the Summer to relax and enjoy our God and the fruits of co-laboring with Christ (ex: our community groups break during the summer so that the leaders and members can recharge).
We encourage you to join us this Summer in thinking about what this type of God-centered rest may look like for you and your family, and over the course of the next 3 weeks we will have some practical ideas for how to rest well. We’ll stop short of creating any hard and fast rules, because when Christian communities start defining mandates for what anyone can and cannot do as part of their rest (like traveling, watching sports, cooking, for example), we begin to slip into legalism. The reality is that folks differ widely in their personal situations, so what we set forth to you will be larger principles rather than dictates.
Specifically, those larger principles are:
- Stop: We must intentionally press pause, humble ourselves, and believe that we need the rest that Christ offers us.
- Pray: Our rest is not an aimless one; it is meant to be God-centered.
- Play: Like any good dad, God has given us incredible gifts he wants us to enjoy, and we should do so with fervor.
Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we explore some practical ways to incorporate these 3 principles into your summer plans. As always, if you have questions or want to join the conversation, send us an email.