By: Scott Ritzema

Summer is quickly coming to an end.  Fall sports practices are taking place and you can kind of feel that things are getting geared up for the upcoming school year.  In fact, in many places in the country, school is already underway.  Where did the summer go?

For me, summer ministry looks a lot different than the structure of Club and other weekly meetings.  I spend more time on appointments, or building times.  I do fundraisers, YFCamp and even get an opportunity to take a few kids out on the water fishing.  However, one of the things that I have realized in years of ministry with YFC is that before you know it summer is gone and I am not ready to start Club again.  I have done very little over the summer to help sharpen my skills or do things that replenish my soul.   I don’t think this is a healthy way to do ministry!  The apostle Paul can relate to us in feeling depleted from ministry and the need to be ministered to or replenished in Romans 15:30-33 and 1 Corinthians 16:15-18.  So what can I do to replenish so that I can pour myself into others again?

A few months ago my Executive Director showed us a video clip from Senior Pastor and author Wayne Cordeiro.  Wayne shared how he pushed and pushed in ministry to the point where he had a nervous breakdown and had to do some massive replenishing.  He checked himself into a monastery so that he could be filled back up.  This short clip impacted me so much that I searched for books that he wrote.  I bought one of his books called Leading on Empty.  It impacted me in a pretty major way.  Wayne talked about the things he did leading up to the breakdown and what he did to get out of it as well as what to do to prevent his soul from being depleted again.  I read it from cover to cover.  Afterwards I searched for other books he wrote and decided to buy The Divine Mentor, which talks about the importance of spending time with the mentors of the Bible and quality time with the Father.

Psalms 1:3 says, “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither whatever they do prospers."

I want to be that kind of person in ministry who is able to produce fruit for the kingdom of God, but it won’t happen if I don’t have the intentionality of being close to the water.  I need to be spending time with the Father as well as doing things that replenish my soul.  Maybe for you that is reading a book, hiking, bike riding, fishing, disconnecting or something else that you love.  But I do know that if I don’t get filled up I won’t have anything to give to others.  May God use us to bear fruit!

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