Debunking the Myths of Work & Rest : Justin McRoberts
In our ministries, how can we overcome the pressures we often inflict upon ourselves and instead, enter into freedom in the ways that we serve and live? In this week’s conversation on FrontStage BackStage, host Jason Daye is joined by Justin McRoberts. Justin has served in ministry in a variety of ways over the years. He’s a songwriter, storyteller, and coach. He’s the author of several books, including his latest, entitled Sacred Strides. Together, Justin and Jason debunk some of the modern myths surrounding work and rest and invite you to enter fully into God’s goodness for your life and ministry.
Looking to dig more deeply into this topic and conversation? Every week we go the extra mile and create a free toolkit so you and your ministry team can dive deeper into the topic that is discussed. Find your Weekly Toolkit below… Love well, Live well, Lead well!
- Video links to this week’s episode – easily share with the ministry leaders in your church
- Audio links to this week’s episode – easily share with the ministry leaders in your church
- Additional resource links from this week’s conversation – so you and your team can easily find what is mentioned or referenced
- Ministry Leaders Growth Guide – key insights and concepts from this week’s conversation as well as engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process
- Full-text transcript of this week’s episode – review something you heard, pass along snippets, post tweets, create presentations to share, or use in whatever way you find most helpful in developing your ministry leaders
- Shareable Social Graphics – Feel free to post them on your church social accounts, your personal accounts, or use them as graphics in your communications
Share the video with your ministry leaders >> YouTube
Share the audio podcast with your ministry leaders…
Additional Resource Links
www.justinmcroberts.com – Visit Justin’s website today, where you can discover a wealth of offerings including his book, music, podcast, and a treasure trove of invaluable tools and resources designed to enrich your personal life and guide you on your journey in ministry.
Sacred Strides: The Journey to Belovedness in Work and Rest – In his book, Justin uses humorous and poignant stories to help readers discover the deep truths about us being laborers for/with Christ, empowered by the Spirit, as well as worshipers of God the Father. We are beloved by the One who holds all things together . . . including our need to work and our need to rest.
Feeling overwhelmed, burned out, or just want to talk? Complimentary Coaching Session for Pastors http://PastorServe.org/freesession
Ministry Leaders Growth Guide
Key Insights and Concepts
- Both work and rest find their origin in the belovedness of Christ, creating a cycle that sustains and renews our identity.
- Despite what “balance” often insinuates, life operates in nuanced seasons and rhythms, which requires us to adapt and flow with its natural cadence.
- Belovedness signifies receiving our identity through Christ’s love, reminding us of our intrinsic worth and connection to God.
- Burnout happens when machine-like metrics are used to evaluate growth and one is unwilling to detach from those metrics and embrace belovedness.
- If God himself values rest, choosing to rest becomes a means of aligning with the Creator’s design for our lives.
- In the end, it’s our relationships—with one another and with God—that hold paramount importance, despite society’s emphasis on productivity and projects.
- Work is an invitation from a capable God who includes us out of love, reminding us that it’s His work and our participation stems from belonging.
- Knowing and evaluating which season you’re in can help you know if it is a time of work or a time of rest and recovery.
- Resting isn’t merely about feeling rested; it’s about discovering that we’re held together by God while letting go of control and embracing belovedness.
- The commandment to “remember” the Sabbath teaches us that rest isn’t a response to work, but a deliberate choice to focus on God’s love and character.
- Recognizing that our work is an invitation from a loving God who could achieve without us reshapes our perspective from the illusion of ownership to joyful participation and humility.
- Jesus’ life in ministry shows us His seasons of work and rest where he was some days actively teaching, healing and moving, and others where He spent little to no time doing those things. Our lives should reflect this type of seasonal work and rest also.
Questions for Reflection
- How do I perceive the connection between my sense of belovedness in Christ and the interplay between work and rest in my life?
- What moments can I think of when I’ve resisted the natural rhythms of life? How did adapting (or not adapting) to life’s nuanced seasons affect my well-being? What did I learn from these experiences?
- In what ways does understanding my belovedness in Christ influence how I perceive my intrinsic worth and identity?
- What metrics am I currently using to evaluate growth? As I assess these metrics, how would I describe them? Are they meaningful? Helpful? Or…?
- Have I ever experienced burnout due to valuing growth solely through measurable metrics? How did this impact my ability to embrace my sense of belovedness?
- How might aligning with the Creator’s design for rest contribute to a more meaningful and fulfilling life, considering the value God places on rest? What ways can I actively choose rest?
- Despite societal pressures, how can I prioritize relationships over productivity and projects in my daily life?
- How is our local church prioritizing relationships vs productivity and projects? Are there changes that can be made in this area? If so, what?
- How does my perspective on my role in the tasks I undertake shift when I recognize that my work is an invitation from a loving God?
- How can I become more attuned to the season I’m currently in—whether it’s a time of work or rest and recovery—and respond accordingly?
- Reflecting on times of rest, how have I discovered a deeper connection with God and relinquished control during these periods?
- What can I learn from the concept of “remembering” the Sabbath in terms of making intentional choices to focus on God’s love and character?
- In what ways might acknowledging that our work is a joyful participation in God’s plans rather than ownership of outcome alter the way I approach my tasks and responsibilities?
- Considering Jesus’ balance of work and rest in His ministry, how can I better emulate his seasonal approach to my own life’s commitments?
In our ministries, how can we overcome the pressures we often inflict upon ourselves and instead, enter into freedom in the ways that we serve and live?
In this episode, I’m joined by Justin McRoberts. Justin has served in ministry in a variety of ways over the years. He’s a songwriter, storyteller, and coach. He’s the author of several books, including his latest, entitled Sacred Strides. Together, Justin and I debunk some of the modern myths surrounding work and rest and invite you to enter fully into God’s goodness for your life and ministry. Are you ready? Let’s go.
Hello, friends, and welcome to another insightful episode of FrontStage BackStage. I’m your host, Jason Daye. And it’s my privilege every single week to sit down with a trusted ministry leader and dive into a conversation in an effort to help you and pastors and ministry leaders just like you embrace a healthy sustainable rhythm in both life and ministry. And we are proud to be a part of the Pastor Serve Network. And every single week not only do we have these conversations, but our team creates an entire toolkit for you and the team at your local church to really dig into this conversation more deeply. So we encourage you to check that out at PastorServe.org/network. And also our team at Pastor Serve loves to journey alongside ministry leaders. And if you’d like to learn more about how you can receive a complimentary coaching session with one of our trusted coaches, you can find that information at PastorServe.org/freesession. And if you’re joining us on YouTube, please take time to give us a thumbs up and drop your name and the name of your church or your ministry in the comments below. We love to get to know our audience better. And we will be praying for you and for your ministry. And whether you’re joining us on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform, please take a moment to subscribe or follow so you do not miss out on any of these incredible conversations. Today, we have a great conversation for you. At this time I’d like to welcome Justin McRoberts to the show. Justin, welcome!
Hey man, good to see you.
Good to see you. Thank you so much for taking time to hang out with us today. Now, Justin, you tackle what we might call the modern myth of what many people refer to as work-life balance. The idea of balancing work and rest. And work-life balance has been championed for years, it’s received even more attention, Justin, like through the COVID pandemic, we’ve heard more and more. I mean, you can find article after article, video after video, book after book. All of this is about this balance between work and rest. Now, Justin, in your latest book, Sacred Strides, you actually contend that instead of focusing on balancing the realities of work and rest, there’s actually a different perspective that is ultimately healthier. Because it better aligns with how God created us. So, Justin, to start our conversation off, I would love if you could address some of these modern myths or tensions about work and rest that you have found to be problematic in your journey in your observations.
At the heart of the book is this repeated mantra, but it’s sort of the heart of the book. The heartbeat of the book is that my natural posture as a person, as a human being, my natural posture isn’t work. And my natural posture isn’t rest. My natural posture as a human is belovedness. And both work and rest flow from my belovedness in Christ and then return me to it. Part of what that means is it reframes the relationship between work and rest. When we talk about balance two things end up being true, one is that we make work and rest in action or contemplation things that they aren’t. In other words, we make them into totalities that life is work and rest and that’s what life is. But actual life the way Christ prescribes life, the way Jesus reveals life to us, is much deeper than that. Life as a human being is an experience of and a practice of our belovedness in Christ by the Father. That’s what actual life is, and that work and rest participate in that. There are doorways to that. There are ways for us to practice our belovedness. So one of the problems I have with the balance idea is it makes work and rest the totality of life. And that’s just not true. Secondly, when we talk about balance, part of what we hear psychologically and part of what gets pushed on us when we hear from folks who push it, too, is that you have to get it all done. That’s what we actually mean by balance. It’s you’ve got five kids, you’ve got neighbors, you’ve got your church relationships, you’ve got your outreach relationships, and you’ve got this project you want to do. You have all this stuff, you’ve got to find a way to balance it all. Which is another way of saying get all these things done equally and equally well. Which is a recipe for anxiety and disaster and burnout, which is part of why so many of our folks, really specifically, so many folks in ministry seats and seats of spiritual authority are burned out, because they’re trying to do everything all the time. The last piece is it ignores what are actually fundamental rhythms in life in human psychology, fundamental spiritual rhythms, fundamental seasonal and institutional rhythms. Because there are times when you put in 80 hours a week on this project, and you don’t have time for other stuff. And no one likes to talk about it in these terms, because we want to say I’ve got room for everything. But we know if we’ve been in ministry for longer than two weeks, right, that there are times when your primary relationships aren’t going to see you for a little bit. Like, hey, Dad’s going to be gone a lot over the next like, two, three weeks. That’s this season. And if I’ve got balance in my head, I’m going to be somewhat present to the project I’m in and then I’m going to be living with guilt that I’m not being a really good dad. And that’s just not true. I’m not paying attention to my seasons, I can’t stand the balance thing. I think it’s terrible. I’m trying to tear it down.
Yeah. And rightly so. Because as you said, it’s more about rhythm versus balance, right? Balance is, like you said, these two big to-do lists, you know, and you’ve got this scale and they’re on both sides, you’re like, Okay, how do I balance this out, so I get all of it accomplished?
Balance is mathematic. You can balance if you’re doing equations. And that’s cool. Math is a great tool for human life. But it’s just a tool. Human life is more nuanced. It works in seasons and works in rhythms. And, yeah, balance sort of steals the joy of actually being alive in the moment in which you’re living.
Yeah, that’s good. I love that, Justin. Now, you talked about belovedness. All of us watching or listening in, we’ve heard the term belovedness. We might think of it in different nuanced ways. So, Justin, can you help us understand when you talk about belovedness because this is really core to what you’re championing right here, right? So how do you define or describe belovedness?
In a couple of ways. I’m going to read, I’m going to look for a little section from the book. So part of the trick with belovedness, is that it is like most fundamental spiritual realities. As soon as I put a set of words around it, I’m gonna miss part of it. In other words, belovedness is the way I identify, the way I talk about receiving my identity in Christ, and the love of God for me as I am. I can talk about that a little bit. But most of that is just like, that’s the finger I’m using to point at the moon. That’s when I use the word belovedness. It’s a tiny little phrase, and it does not encapsulate the entirety of belovedness. Which is to say, part of how you know you’re loved, part of how you know you’re experiencing belovedness is you find yourself at an utter lack of words, like, I don’t know how to describe this. I can’t really get my head around it. It’s what it feels like to actually be loved, does it not? If I can enumerate like, this is why I’m loved. And this is what this is. And now I know I’m loved because this person met all the standards and checked all these boxes. We’re back in the realm of utility. Belovedness undoes all that stuff, specifically to be loved by God. So the way I read in the book is I say, it’s possible that in every book I’ve written up to this point, I’ve made some reference to Jesus’s baptism. I suppose I’m just not over that moment and I hope I never am. And I don’t want you to be either. In Matthew 3:17, God says, This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I’m well pleased. That moment and those words do more than just test something in me. I think they cut through other things to uncover and expose what is most real and fundamental about me. This phrase from God, you’re mine, I love you, and I’m proud of you. Belovedness is not just the most fundamental truth of Jesus’s life, it is the most fundamental truth of yours and of mine. It’s also one of the most if not the most, confoundingly and tragically elusive realities in human experience. It is the thing against which all dark forces in the world have leveraged their power against because once we know that’s true of us, we’re entirely free. It’s this thing that like, I can give you tools to help you dig. I cannot uncover the thing for you. Once you’ve gotten there, you will know and you’ll say, I need to change everything. And I don’t know how to talk about this. That’s what belovedness is.
Yeah. Now, Justin, if that is at the very core of who we are, it’s at the core of our relationship with Jesus, a core of our being. This understanding of belovedness and living into this belovedness, and experiencing this belovedness. Talk to us about how that relates specifically to this idea of work and rest. Why is belovedness at the core so important for us to really understand this idea of work and rest?
Yeah, so Parker Palmer, who’s a voice I value a lot when it comes to vocation, says that both action and contemplation sprang from the same root, which is our ceaseless desire to be fully alive. So when I go to work and apply myself to work, the thing I’m not really wanting in me is to achieve a thing or accomplish a thing. Which we all know at this point in our lives because we have achieved some things that we really wanted to achieve and we still feel relatively unsatisfied because it’s not really the thing you’re chasing when you apply yourself to work. In the same way with rest, we’ll come back to work in a second. Being rested is never enough. I don’t just get to feel rested so I can move on. There’s something I’m chasing in rest that has more to do with what if I take my hands off the wheel of my life, am I actually held together by the one who holds all things together? I’m chasing a sense of belovedness. Specifically in work, the thing we discover on the other side of success and failure is that neither success nor failure are the real things we’re interested in in our souls. I want to give the best of who I am to my world, that’s a drive in me, which actually makes it an offering of worship, which is an act of love. Belovedness really is the driving force, it really is the motivating force for all deep true work. It’s the thing that actually makes us, allows us, and propels us to do work that isn’t working for a while. Because the lack of success doesn’t bother me. This is an outpouring of who I am. And at some point, we’ll make the logistics work.
Yeah, that’s good. And on that note, Justin, in ministry, sometimes we wrestle through those moments, those seasons, we put in the work, we don’t see traction, we don’t see maybe effectiveness. And oftentimes, that leads to burnout. And so talk to us a little bit about how rooting ourselves in this idea of belovedness not only helps us through those difficult seasons. But helps us kind of overcome a lot of the things like you said, the dark forces of the world are trying to war against this idea. How does this help us avoid, maybe overcome, these feelings of burnout and stuff like that?
So if I know, and I really believe that what I’m actually pursuing when I give myself over into work, if I know that what I’m chasing, what I’m pursuing, what I’m wanting is to be connected to the Father in Christ and guided by the Spirit. If I know that I’m chasing and pursuing and desiring belovedness, then I will more easily detach myself from the metrics that would steal my joy. Burnout, in the long run, isn’t just about overwork. Burnout is also about depression and dissatisfaction. Burnout is, I thought that when I got here and this happened, I would feel satisfaction in my soul. Burnout is us measuring ourselves against machine-like metrics, over and over again, and dehumanizing ourselves by these machines. That’s, in essence, what burnout is. Because we’ve all been really, really tired. Having applied ourselves really well, but not felt burnout. Burnout has way more to do with the metrics we’re using to evaluate growth, success, happiness, etc. If I know that I’m pursuing belovedness, two things get to happen. One is I get to detach myself from those metrics. Two, I know that I’m invited into the work by the one who loves me. That doesn’t mean I’m unnecessary for the work. I think that’s too cheesy or like God doesn’t need us to do the things God wants to do. I think that’s too simple of a thing. I think God invites us in though as an act of love. God invites us into the work that God is doing and makes us integral to that work so that we can share as beloved sons and daughters in the work of Christ, not so that we would accomplish the thing and make God proud. If I know that I’m Beloved, I get to work in that freedom, that God’s gonna hold this work together. I get to do it, and I’m invited to be here with him. So story from a while ago, my son who is now 13, a number of years ago, wasn’t 13 and that’s how math works. He ordered this Lego kit and it was called the Desert Rally Racer and we got it in the mail and literally saved it for a rainy day. On this rainy day, we started making the kit and we figured out 10-12 minutes into this project, that we didn’t have all the bricks. Once in a while, Lego will send out these kits without all the commensurate bricks. So we had 72 out of 74 bricks. So my son does this really interesting thing, I think he’s like five years old, is he gets up and goes and sits in the window, and just stares out into the rain drinking his water. And like he lets the sadness have its moment. Because if you don’t let sadness have its moment, it’ll just steal it from somewhere else. So he gets sad, I go sit and get sad with him. And then I go downstairs to my bedroom and I go get the bag of bricks I grew up with that weren’t kit bricks, just like the other bricks. And we start tinkering around, and we disassemble the thing, and we put it back together. And this bracket is kind of the same color that sort of fits. And at the tail end, we did not have the desert rally racer. We had this McRoberts truck-ish spaceship thing. And we didn’t care that it wasn’t the Desert Rally Racer. We loved whatever that was because it looked like us. Belovedness in work looks like that. Most of the metrics that we are trained to measure ourselves against look like when you get the kit in the mail and at the end of the project, it’s going to look like this. Burnout happens when we figure out, because we always figure this out, it’s not going to look like the box. And our souls say crap, I’m bad at this, and I’ve worked too much, etc. Belovedness means we come against all the same obstacles, we experience all the same successes and failures but the process is entirely different. Because it was never about building a Lego thing. It was about being with my son. That is the belovedness posture, the Kingdom posture, when it comes to work.
Yeah, absolutely love that. It’s interesting, Justin, what you touched on, in Sacred Strides, this idea that many people view work really as a means to an end, right? Like the work part of it is you are going to build the thing, right? And it’s going to look like this or maybe even some people look at work as a necessary evil. You know, we do what we do because we have bills to pay and we have a family to care for. And in ministry, oftentimes, Justin, we can spiritualize this idea a bit, spruce it up a bit, you know, we have a mission to accomplish, a calling to fulfill, these ideas. But Justin, as we go back to this idea of belovedness, there is something important about our work and the love that we have for others. That relationship between the work that we’re doing, and not just it needs to be done, or not just I’m fulfilling my call. But there’s actually this love for others that kind of pulls together. You write about this. Talk us through this a little bit if you could.
In the long run and in the end, it will be the relationships that we have with one another. It will be the relationship we have forged between ourselves and God that matters. And we know this in this oddly sentimental corner of our brains. But we Hallmark that thing. It’s like it’s cute. It’s cute that it’s about the relationship. But serious people are about projects. And I feel like the heart of the Father is like Oh, man. No, like children are about projects and get really upset when the projects don’t work out. Folks who’ve been alive long enough know that it really was, all along, about the people you’re with. This is part of why so many of the instructions in the scriptures call us to remember things. Like that’s not new knowledge. No one’s gonna be like I’ve never thought about that it’s entirely about the relationships. What a shocking idea. No, like, you’ve always heard that you just don’t really believe it. Because you think that a professional is someone who puts aside sentiment and just gets stuff done. That’s not a professional. That’s an obsessive child. Human beings desire connection. It’s why we built churches to begin with. We built churches to begin with so that we could do this thing together because it’s how we’re designed. Which is to say, as the person who runs the thing, you have to be the primary chaser of actual relationship. And if you make it about the project, and don’t we all know cats who are living in this place, if you make it about your project, you become a tool of some sort of machinery. And that’s why the folks in your culture, either maybe don’t trust you in relationship or are having a hard time actually believing that relationship matters. It’s because that’s not why you’re building what you’re building. We started this thing because it was about relationship. We got obsessed with the project. And then we’ve had the opportunity since the pandemic to be like, what if it’s not the project? What if it’s actually us? And it’s always been about us, and it always will be.
Yeah, yeah. No, that’s good, Justin. Now, one of the things that kind of falls in line with that, and we’re guilty of this in ministry, as well, is the hustle culture, maximizing productivity, I mean, there’s so much, in the world in which we live, this is huge, right? And there are some who would say, Hey, listen, I’m pro this. This is good stewardship of the life that God has given me, right? There are others who would say, Listen, I don’t think Jesus would, you know, would be promoting the hustle culture or hyping that up. When we look at these, where do we look at this idea of productivity or of hustle and how that relates, because we are giving our lives to ministry and giving our lives to the kingdom. And so we think, Hey, these are eternal consequences. We think of all these things. So how does this all come into play?
Seasons, man. They’re seasons. Know thyself. So at the core of this, you’re the gift you’re giving, like you are the gift you’re giving to the world. And so if you’re not a healthy, focused, clear you, then you’re not doing the thing. You’re the gift you give, which is to say, you have to learn yourself. One of the things we forget to do when we treat ourselves like we’re pieces of the machinery, or we treat ourselves like machinery, we stop paying attention to ourselves and just try to get the job done. So the seasonal approach to life and ministry allows you to dive headfirst and like do the hustle thing for a while, because there are times when like, absolutely. So when folks are like Well, Jesus’ life was perfectly balanced. I’m like, Man, I don’t know. Like homie walked a long way. Was constantly on the move, dude got legit tired, like he would talk about like, in the moment you think about the moment. He’s on his way to Jairus’s house, which is going to be a big deal, and later on was a big deal. And this young woman reaches out and touches him. And we miss these things because we teach them in the same way for too many years. And then we miss the nuances. What it says is power went out from him. Which is to say, Jesus is conscious of the power that’s leaving him. He’s not just this dispenser of energy and power. He’s like, whoa, what was that? And then he stops and spends time with this person. That was a massive day, where he’s in this massive crowd, has this long conversation with someone who’s been sick for a long time, then has to explain this thing to His disciples, move through the rest of the crowd, get to Jairus’s place, bring a girl back from the dead, and make lunch for the girl. It’s this huge day. That’s a hustle day. And there were days on end for Jesus like that. And then there are days when I mean, we don’t have that much data on the time they had together. So they were probably long days. And it’s like, he didn’t heal anybody, he wasn’t teaching anybody if he was doing it all. So working in seasons, like, is it a season to work real hard? Well, heck, if you’re 26, please do that for the next four years, because you’re never gonna get that energy back. If you’re 26 years old, you’ve got some energy, and some ideas, go get a coach and a spiritual director, and do everything in your imagination, because you’re never gonna get that energy back. But if you’re 55 years old, and you got kids in college, then you have to work differently. So paying attention to yourself, there are times when it is 100% without question time to hustle and put in the 80-90 hours a week. And then there are certain times and seasons in your life where it’s like, Dude, you can honestly give maybe like 15 hours of good work, good energy to work. And then you’ve got mental health stuff to take care of, you got family stuff to take care of, you need to just chill. It’s seasons, man, you got to pay attention in your own soul.
Yeah, that’s good. That’s good. Justin, one of the things that pops up throughout the book is this idea that we somehow need to earn rest. Somehow we need to earn favor with God or earn this idea of belovedness. You know, there’s this concept that I think is within the fabric of our culture, that we’re doing things to earn rewards. But you kind of flip that and kind of unpack that in a different way. Talk us through our tendencies to feel this way. And then the reality of life in Christ.
So let me start where it starts, right, which is in the text, and two key points. And one is that the Sabbath commandment isn’t the first place rest as a pattern enters into the picture. At the very, very beginning, this is Genesis 2, thus the heavens in the earth were all completed and all their vast array, but on the seventh day, God has finished the work that he had been doing. And on the seventh day, he rested from all His work, then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. So I’m all for the way the writers will paint God in a way in which I can understand God. So God rests, there’s not a chance in the world, I think, that God comes to day seven of the creation process, and is like, gosh, monkeys are so hard. Like there’s not a chance. God’s not wiped out and needs to rest, God chooses to rest. And if God chooses to rest, and I want to live in the shape of the one who made me, then I need to choose to rest. Not because I’m tired, but because that’s how he does it. That’s it. I mean, it’s right there. When we talk about like, In how many days did creation take place, some will say six, I’m gonna say it takes seven. And that seventh day of rest is the shape of God. The shape of God is there’s work and there’s rest. And both things are choices and practices. So I want to reframe rest as a fundamental reality, not just that’s rooted in need, but it’s actually rooted in who we are, and who we’re designed to be. That’s one. Two, the way the commandment is written, it begins with the word “remember”. So it’s not a matter of rest when you need to on occasion. It’s remember the Sabbath day, which is about stopping and paying attention to God. So rest is not, in the biblical sense, a response to or a direct relationship to work or overwork. It is a choice we make to pay attention to the love of God, to pay attention to the shape of God, and to be more like him. That’s what actual rest is.
Yeah. And so, to lean into that just a little bit further, oftentimes, in ministry, we have this idea you touch on of I don’t deserve to rest. I’ve got these eternal matters I’m dealing with. I’ve got these things that have to happen and we think they’re good things, the intention is good, holy, and, positive. There are people that we need to serve, people we need to minister to, and people we need to reach. And so we wrestle with this, Hey, when I get to heaven, I’ll have plenty of time to rest. Like maybe that’s a day seven for me. Right? So let’s lean in a little bit deeper for the ministry perspective. How can we begin to unwind some of those tensions around, but This is God’s work, I have to sacrifice, I have to go, I have to make this happen, right?
So yeah, I would say, first of all, yes, it is. It’s God’s work. It’s not yours. You get to do it. You get to and you are invited in love. And you are invited in love by someone who’s entirely capable of achieving this without you but chooses not to. It’s not your work. It was never your work. It’s God’s work. You’re his son, and you’re his daughter. That’s how the relationship actually works. Your relationship with the work is that this is God’s work, to begin, to maintain, or to finish and you’re invited to participate because you’re loved by God. That’s the fundamental reframing. It’s not your work and if you believe that it’s your work, then you’re going to have the tendency, and don’t we know cats who live here, you’re going to have the tendency to make a little kingdom of your own and then hope God’s okay with it. Woof. It’s a bad place for us to be and way too many have been there. Yeah. Like, I get it now. It’s not my work. It’s like tithing. It’s like, we feel like it’s not my money. Okay, do you believe that? You’re gonna give your 10%? Like, it’s not my money. Well, the 10 percent is not my money, but that’s not why you give the 10%. You give the 10%, whatever it is you give. I’m just using 10% because that’s how it works for me. And that’s my understanding of tithing. I don’t give the 10% because the 10% is God’s. I give the 10% because I’m trying to train my soul to say no, it’s all God’s. It’s all God’s work. It’s not your work. And by the way, if you can’t do it, it’s going to get done. That doesn’t make you unnecessary. It just means you’re invited in very differently than you were taught, you’re not necessary because it won’t get done if you’re not there. That’s not why you’re necessary. You’re necessary because the one who loves you wants you with him. That’s what makes you necessary.
That’s excellent. That’s excellent. Love that, Justin, thank you for that. Brother, this has been a great conversation. And really, for those of you watching along or listening along, we’re really just scratching a lot of what Justin shares in Sacred Strides. They’re great conversations around friendship, which I think are huge, especially in ministry contexts. We wrestle with this whole idea of friendship. Great, I mean golden stuff in there. And, Justin, I want to give you some time. First, let us know how, if people want to connect with you, or learn more about Sacred Strides, the book, what are some ways that they can do that?
I mean, my website’s an okay place to launch from. It’s not the friendliest website in the world. We’re trying to fix that. But I’m on Instagram. I post something on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook every single day. So I’m constantly present in those places. Those are good places to come find me. My email is email@example.com. So if you want to reach out I’m actually pretty great with email. Pretty much you can search my name and come find me. And the book is available anywhere you want books. Amazon’s got it. It’s at Barnes and Noble. Most Christian retailers will carry it in some way, shape, or form. Yeah, so this is why, and if you’re like me in this way, that’s why I do it. I put the thing in the world, the book because I’m interested in what’s happening. I’m trying to invest in what’s happening in the lives of the people who read it. So it’s never enough for me to put a book in the world. I want this to stir something in you. I’m not even trying to be right about things. I just want to stir stuff in you. So that you might say, Okay, wait, what’s this, and then we get to do the real stuff. This is why I coach, and this is why I continue to post online is I want to I want to meet you where you are in your life and in your ministry, and help you get where it is you are convinced the Spirit of Christ is taking you. So anytime you want to reach out, wherever. That’s why I do what I do.
That’s awesome. I love that posture, brother. And for those of you watching or listening along, we’ll have links to the book, links to Justin’s website, his socials, and all that fun stuff. We’ll have all that in the toolkit for this episode, which you can find at PastorServe.org/network. And before we go, brother, I want to give you the opportunity just to share some words of encouragement with brothers and sisters on the front lines, our colleagues. What would you like to share with pastors and ministry leaders today?
Man, not everyone’s going to get this story, but your people will. I had 20 years in, man. We have this beautiful, wonderful congregation, it was amazing. And all kinds of things. And when I say all kinds of things, y’all know what I mean. All kinds of things came together against this beautiful thing we had built and it was falling apart at the seams and I could not hold it together. And I thought I was supposed to. That’s what I thought the job was. I was falling apart internally because I was so entangled in my thing. And I thought that that was my responsibility. I’m in my head. I’m on a trip. I’m in Calcutta, India, that’s a whole other story. And I walk into the lobby of this hotel and they had hired an artist to make sand mandalas, this is a story from the book. This artist had built these three sand mandalas in the lobby, they’re beautiful. Sand mandalas, it’s like painting with sand. I’m not paying attention and I just put my big stupid foot in this guy’s piece of art and blow it up all over the floor. And homie’s like 10 feet down the hall building another one. I was like, Oh my god. So I start apologizing on repeat. Like, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. He gets up, calm, cool, and collected, walks over, and starts trying to pick up the sand, which I had been trying to pick up like an idiot. And I’m still apologizing that I had ruined this work that matters to him. Watch this. And he stops and he just puts his hand on my wrist. He goes, Listen, it’s okay. I don’t build it so it lasts. I build it because it’s beautiful and for the joy. Oh, I didn’t know that was an option. It’s confounding and seems like a hallmark-level sentimentality to say that. But part of what we’ve come to in the last few years is guys, nothing we make is going to last. Nothing. God makes things at last. And that happens to the formation of our souls as we build things we care about. Do it because it’s beautiful. Do it for the joy of it. And then let the Lord hold together the world He said he’d hold together. Period.
Love that brother. Great word, Justin, great word. Thank you so much for making the time to hang out with us again on FrontStage BackStage. Really appreciate it. God bless you, my friend, and look forward to catching up next time.
All right, God bless. Thank you.
Now, before you go, I want to remind you of an incredible free resource that our team puts together every single week to help you and your team dig more deeply and maximize the conversation that we just had. This is the weekly toolkit that we provide. And we understand that it’s one thing to listen or watch an episode, but it’s something entirely different to actually take what you’ve heard, what you’ve watched, what you’ve seen, and apply it to your life and to your ministry. You see, FrontStage BackStage is more than just a podcast or YouTube show about ministry leadership, we are a complete resource to help train you and your entire ministry team as you seek to grow and develop in life in ministry. Every single week, we provide a weekly toolkit which has all types of tools in it to help you do just that. Now you can find this at PastorServe.org/network. That’s PastorServe.org/network. And there you will find all of our shows, all of our episodes and all of our weekly toolkits. Now inside the toolkit are several tools including video links and audio links for you to share with your team. There are resource links to different resources and tools that were mentioned in the conversation, and several other tools, but the greatest thing is the ministry leaders growth guide. Our team pulls key insights and concepts from every conversation with our amazing guests. And then we also create engaging questions for you and your team to consider and process, providing space for you to reflect on how that episode’s topic relates to your unique context, at your local church, in your ministry and in your life. Now you can use these questions in your regular staff meetings to guide your conversation as you invest in the growth of your ministry leaders. You can find the weekly toolkit at PastorServe.org/network We encourage you to check out that free resource. Until next time, I’m Jason Daye encouraging you to love well, live well, and lead well. God bless.
Shareable Social Graphics
Strengthen Your Church
Strengthening your church, for us, begins by serving you, the pastor!