By Luke Holmes
The truck sputtered, heaved, and lurched forward one final time before finally dying. The sinking feeling in my stomach was confirmed as I tried to start it again. I was out of gas.
You probably know that feeling too, as it has happened to almost everyone who regularly drives a car.
In my defense, the gas gauge was broken, so I couldn’t tell by looking how close I was to empty. Luckily, I wasn’t far from home. I called my wife who came down with a gas can that would allow me to fill up again. I filled the tank all the way and vowed to play closer attention.
When I first started to drive in high school, I didn’t always have the money to fill up the 30-gallon gas tank on my van. I can’t count the number of times I sheepishly walked into the gas station to only put two or three dollars’ worth of gas into the car—just enough to get me to where I was going and back again. I knew I needed to fill up, but the circumstances of my life didn’t allow me to get a full tank whenever I wanted to.
Now I usually fill up my car with gas when I can, but I’ll admit my spiritual gas tank doesn’t always stay as full. This past year has been one of the most trying of my ministry, and that’s probably the case for most other ministry leaders, too. I’ve found that I needed to fill up my spiritual gas tank more than ever. But I’ve also found it harder to do that.Over the past year every ministry leader I know has overcome obstacle after obstacle in order to keep caring for those in their ministry. But who is caring for the leaders? — @LukeHolmes Click To Tweet
Many of the things that edify and encourage us are harder to do, like fellowship, meals with friends, or even gathering as a church. Over the past year every ministry leader I know has overcome obstacle after obstacle in order to keep caring for those in their ministry. But who is caring for the leaders?
A recent study from Lifeway Research revealed that many leaders face stress about finances (26%), the technological challenges of the current situation (16%), offering pastoral care from a distance (12%), and members without access to technology to help keep them connected (11%).
Pastoring was hard enough before the difficulties of politics and pandemics. That’s why every leader must double down on their intentions to find time to rest and have their spiritual tank refilled while they continue to work and keep people on mission.Every leader must double down on their intentions to find time to rest and have their spiritual tank refilled while they continue to work and keep people on mission. — @LukeHolmes Click To Tweet
It would be nice if we could always fill up the tank all the way, but the circumstances you face might not allow it. Find those moments throughout your day and week when you can put a few dollars in the gas tank and make it to your next stop without running out.
This might be a quiet moment in the car while you drive and worship, a conversation with a good friend over the phone, or intentional family time. When all we do is look forward to the big moments of rest like a week-long vacation, we miss the daily and hourly moments we have to rest, recharge our personal relationships, and fill our hearts and minds with God.When all we do is look forward to the big moments of rest like a week-long vacation, we miss the daily and hourly moments we have to rest and fill our hearts and minds with God. — @LukeHolmes Click To Tweet
At times we might only have a few dollars to put in the tank, and it’s in those seasons every little bit helps. We need to make sure we find the still moments in the middle of a busy day to turn our hearts and minds back toward God and fill our tanks up again. But we also need to make sure we take the longer types of rests that push our needles all the way back to full.