Rest is Leadership


Leadership comes in many shapes and sizes. It can be bold and seen at the front of the room, but it can also be quiet and in the background. I’ll go out on a limb and say that when we think of leadership, what often comes to mind is probably the people who lead from the front of the room, aren’t afraid to pray out loud, are articulate in their speech, and can make hard decisions. However, we do not always think about how leadership is greatly impacted by Sabbath rest. I believe that the best leaders lead themselves first and partake in Sabbath.            

I met with a friend recently to ask for leadership advice, and she said to me, “Give yourself grace and find out what true rest is for yourself. Find what helps you recharge." When we Sabbath, we are setting aside time to connect with the Lord so He can recharge not only our bodies, but our souls. Psalm 23 is a well-known Psalm and probably one of the most restful chapters of Scripture. Psalm 23:1-3 says,  “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” Sit in those words for a moment. Read them again.

When we take Jesus’ hand and let Him shepherd our lives because of His goodness and faithfulness and gentleness, we participate in self-leadership. For some, rest would literally look like going out to a green pasture and sitting beside quiet waters. For others, Sabbath rest could look like something else entirely.

For me, Sabbath rest manifests itself in two specific ways with the first being shooting hoops on a basketball court. I love playing sports, specifically basketball. I’m not the athlete I once was, but I can still shoot the ball. I love going into a quiet gym and making it echo with dribbles and the sound of a ball going through a net. Even though my heart rate goes up, it is a restful thing for me where I can spend time with the Lord while being active. There is a rest and a closeness in those moments that I don’t find anywhere else.

The other way I find Sabbath rest is being by any body of water. I love being near a lake or peering out over a balcony at the ocean waves. The breeze, the warmth, the image of how majestic yet powerful the water is all combine and require a deep releasing breath from my lungs. I find a rest here as well that is different than anywhere else. 

We are called to lay down our burdens and rest. Disclaimer, I don’t necessarily mean nap or do something mindless when I talk about Sabbath rest. I do mean finding a space where you intentionally commune with your Creator. In fact, we are gently and undoubtably called to worship and glorify our Savior. He is a giver of many good gifts and an exemplar leader. And if God, in His outward and inward showing of leadership, rested on the 7th day, we should find ourselves worshipping Him by resting too. It is okay to rest. Rest is leadership.

Despite my best intentions to start 2023 organized and restful, I already find myself overwhelmed, and it’s only the second month of the year!

Will I have time to do laundry today? Did I send that email on time? Maybe I can squeeze a workout in before making dinner. 

It’s in these moments that I find the Holy Spirit reminding me of Jesus’ sweet words about rest in Matthew 11:28-30: “‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’” 

This February, our Women’s Blog writers will be sharing their experiences with Sabbath, God’s command for rest. It is our hope that you are encouraged through their words and Scripture, like Matthew 11, to take rest in Jesus’ presence. 

-Becca Fulcer, Adult Ministries Program Coordinator

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