On a Saturday afternoon this summer, I sat in a room with 35 members of our fledgling church. This was our first retreat. We had left Chicago to spend two days secluded near a lake in Wisconsin. The people in that room had given vast amounts of time, energy, and resources to help launch our church. Church planting is such hard work that it's easy to for-get whose work it actually is. We may believe that only God can establish his church, but, much of the time, we work as though success depends solely on us.
For this retreat we chose to meditate on Jesus' invitation in Mark 6:31: "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Over the two years of our church's existence, we've realized that we work better than we rest. We began our conversation that afternoon with two questions: "What about our culture makes rest difficult?" And "What char-acteristics of our church make rest difficult?" After diagnosing the cause of our struggle to rest regularly, we ended with a final ...1