Doing new things is scary. For some.
Doing new things is exciting. For others.
But even if you fall more into the second category than the first (as I do) doing something new is always exhausting.
And it’s more exhausting when you’re attempting to change something you’ve been doing for a long time. Which is why change gets harder as you get older.
Changing your clothing style from last year’s trends to this year’s trends? Easy (I assume).
But changing your church’s worship style, facility or organizational structure after it’s been in place for decades, possibly generations? Not so easy.
Even if you know change needs to happen and everyone is on board with it, never underestimate how exhausting change is going to be – and how much that exhaustion will slow people down, make them second-guess themselves, or even want to abandon the entire process mid-stream. Including you.
This is why, whenever you’re attempting a big change, it is essential to build intentional time and space for rest.
The best way I know to do that is to decide in advance what long-term aspects you will never change, then utilize those permanent markers as your support system to help you tackle what needs to be changed.
Find places you can rest, like relationships, core theology, foundational traditions and so on.
Even Desired Change Is Exhausting
I’ve discovered this recently in my own life and ministry.
I just turned 60. My decades happen to match the calendar decades with only a six-week difference. In the 2010s (my 50s) I experienced a complete upheaval in the way I worship, minister and work. More than in any previous decade – including the decade I started in ministry, got married and had our kids.
Some of those changes were planned. Some were not.
Most of it has been good.
All of it I have decided to embrace.
But. It’s. Exhausting.
And more is on its way.
Find Places Of Rest
This has made me more appreciative than ever for the things in my life that are as solid as a rock. Places I can go emotionally, spiritually, physically and relationally to rest, relax and recover.
For me, this includes a 27+ year pastoral tenure with the great folks at Cornerstone, and an immediate and extended family that all live close by.
But it also includes what it should include for all of us. An ongoing, deepening relationship with Jesus and his family. The richness and depth of scripture. The haven of prayer. Time away to ponder and reflect.
The more everything changes, the more important it is to have places to rest, find reassurance, and build up the courage to step out in faith again.
Rest Your Heart
Change is necessary. It’s essential for faith, growth, leadership and life.
But, even if you love it, don’t ever let yourself step into places of great change without having the safety, security and support of a place and a people where you can rest your head, heart and spirit.
Copyright © 2020 by the author or Christianity Today.
Click here to read our guidelines concerning reprint permissions.