Got the post-mission week blues?
It’s the end of a busy term: full of deadlines, socialising and making the most of events weeks.
Once the adrenaline rush has worn off, we’re often left tired out, and it’s no surprise! Praying early each morning, then chatting with friends ’til 2am. Standing on a windy campus handing out flyers. Feeling the pain of rejection or the emotional intensity of a friend growing closer to Jesus.
Feeling burnt out? Even the most prolific evangelist or events week junkie can’t keep it up forever. Here are five ways that the gospel speaks to our feelings of burnout.
1. Remember how our Father has made us.
Being tired and weary isn’t a sign of weakness or failure! ‘He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust’ (Psalm 103:14). Our tiredness reflects our humanity, and in those most ‘dust-like’ moments God invites us to come to Him as our Father and draw on His compassion.
2. Let our Heavenly Father take care of you.
There’s a time when the Prophet Elijah faced a season of exhaustion and spiritual depression. Surprisingly this low ebb came right after a moment of significant victory in mission. In the middle of Elijah’s despair, the Lord tenderly cares for him and sustains Elijah, both physically and spiritually. Movingly, he provides food, sleep and His own voice (1 Kings 19). As we come away from a concentrated time of outreach, like events weeks, make sure you get time to sleep well, eat properly and hear our Father’s voice in Scripture!
3. Celebrate what our Heavenly Father has done.
We often move quickly from one thing to the next. Take some time to celebrate how the Father was at work through you during this term! You might want to take time on your own and with others to reflect and respond in thankful praise. If you’ve played a part in making the week happen, why not gather with the other leaders and celebrate? This year in Durham, the events week team enjoyed an evening bowling to celebrate all the Lord did through them!
4. Expect our Heavenly Father to bring growth in His time.
Jesus reminds us in Mark 4:26–28 that His words are like seeds planted in soil which grow up to harvest all by themselves. Perhaps you’ve seen the Lord bring some real growth already, or maybe you’re actually feeling pretty discouraged. You can trust our Heavenly Father to bring growth in His time. Be patient and don’t give up. I love what the great German Reformer, Martin Luther, says on this: ‘I simply taught [God’s Word] and while I slept, or drank beer with my friends...the Word did everything!’
5. Keep going – our Heavenly Father is with us.
Even as the marquee comes down and the jumper goes back in the cupboard, keep saying ‘yes’ to God’s invitation to join with Him in mission.
Who might continue exploring Jesus with you at the follow-up course?
Who could you enjoy friendship, discussion and learning more about Jesus with as you read Uncover Mark together?
Who might be interested to come along to church and experience more of your Christian community?
God was with us during our events weeks, but His presence doesn’t cease as the weeks come to a close. At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells us, ‘Surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age!’
JP lives and works in Durham. He has a love for adventures involving friends, road trips and McDonalds. He is currently Assistant Team Leader for UCCF in the North East and Yorkshire and has spent several years in student ministry.