In Pastor David Hansen’s book, The Art of Pastoring: Ministry without All the Answers he writes concerning his ministry experience, “I’d gladly do this job for free. The joy of God, which fills God, fills me. Life in the Holy Spirit is a life of joy.”
One of the joys of working with Christian leaders including pastors and missionaries is seeing their passion for God and for His Kingdom and His work. Having them share stories of their “first love” and seeing their joy and enthusiasm and their eyes light up reveals the depth of their love for Christ and their dedication to sharing this love with others.
Unfortunately, this same passion and dedication can lead Christ followers to giving more and more and growing weary. This can end up in the loss of joy in ministry and sometimes even losing joy in their walk with the Lord.
Often, we see that when a Christian leader takes some time to rest, heal from some wounds, be ministered to instead of ministering that their hearts and joy begin to renew. Regularly folks come to Marble Retreat tired and forlorn, discouraged and numb. After several days of being poured into, enjoying God’s beautiful nature and good food, fellowship, resting, playing, reading, and praying we begin to see their joy return.
We hear it in their laughter. We see it in their renewed passion in sharing their favorite scriptures with each other. We hear it when they pick up the guitar and spontaneously worship. They share about their renewed engagement with God. And, they are ready to return to ministry with hope and joy in their hearts.
Our hope here at Marble Retreat is that in 2018 you will experience joy in the Lord and in your ministry. And if that is not where you are at, that God will lead you to the healing and rest necessary to renew your heart for Him.