Kris Mares

Just a woman trying to love Jesus and others a little bit more…

My Flock Needs My Vacation September 9, 2015

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 2:14 pm
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As a pastor, I have a hard time taking a Sunday off. Not because I don’t want a break. Not because I don’t need a break. Not because I don’t think my family needs the break. It’s hard, because I don’t want to be away from my people. Regardless of the horror stories some clergy tells about parishioners, most of us really do love the people in our churches. I do. I love the people I serve and enjoy being with them each Sunday. And mostly, they are fond of me too. We’re a good match together.

Even so, they need my vacation.

They don’t need the actual vacation I took. It wasn’t glamorous. It wasn’t life altering. It wasn’t a once in a lifetime opportunity. It was a small, inexpensive, family oriented weekend away.

And my flock needed it.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a pastor who took time to rest and play.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a pastor who isn’t burnt out and overworked.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a pastor who takes and models Sabbath rest.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a pastor who prioritizes family over ministry.

My flock needed my vacation because they need to hear great guest preachers.

My flock needed my vacation because they need to have good retired pastors speak things that aren’t heard when non-retired pastors say them.

My flock needed my vacation because they need a break from me just as much as I need a break from them.

My flock needed my vacation because it’s a healthy and a good and a right thing.

So no more will I fret over being away. No more will I feel bad for taking time off. Clergy friends, I urge you to stop doing it too. No more. We need to stop thinking that somehow if we take time off to play (and that doesn’t mean a conference or learning opportunity), that the church will fall apart without us. They were okay before we got in God’s pulpit and they’ll be okay after. And if we are doing our work well, they’ll be ready to hear a Good Word from colleagues who are also capable of bringing God’s message to them. We plan, we prepare, and we leave them in good hands. In God’s hands.

And we enjoy our time away, resting, playing and hearing a fresh word from God.

Yes, we need a vacation, but our flock needs our vacation too.


Rest July 22, 2015

Filed under: Ministry — Kris @ 7:20 am
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Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed. … There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience. (Hebrews 4:1-2, 9-11, NIV)

Last night, I was reminded to rest. Well, actually, yesterday, I was reminded twice to rest. Earlier in the day, I was asking some colleagues a question about ministry stuff and one of them asked me “Have you had time this summer to rest and reflect?”

Ummm… no.

So, in God’s wisdom, the ladies event that I attended last night (that has been planned and on my calendar for MONTHS) had a theme of rest. Women told stories of how finding God’s rest for their life helped them cope with cancer, bi-polar disorder and an aging and sick mother. Sure, there is medication involved. Sure, there is the support of the Body of Christ involved. But also, crucial to recovery and coping, there has been rest. One woman even said “It was either rest or die.” Thankfully, she chose rest.

Granted, I’m not dealing with cancer, but I wonder if I need to think of the idea of that – rest or die.

God commands Sabbath rest for us. Jesus modeled rest for us. He took time to get away and pray. Alone. With close friends. Rest.

Hebrews 4:11 (actually, go read all of Hebrews 4), tells us to make every effort to rest – to enjoy Sabbath – so that we don’t die in our disobedience. Rest or die. Wisdom from a woman surviving cancer. Wisdom from a woman surviving bi-polar disorder. Wisdom from God.

So today, I choose to rest. Thank you Creator for the timely reminder.


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