Late Summer Break


By Mike Cunningham

Every year it seems like summer is over before it started. One day you’re celebrating the end of the school, making summer plans, and starting to work on your lovely tan. Then, in what feels like a blink of an eye, you start looking for the best fall deals, making plans and preparing for another year.

In ministry, summer is an amazing season, full of events, opportunities to connect and try new things, summer camps and road trips. A lot of great work is done! But, if you’re like me, sometimes you forget to take a break. Maybe it’s because we wrongly believe activity is a sign of health, or because we want to maximize time with students.

The reality is…YOU NEED A BREAK. Your Leaders NEED A BREAK. And let’s be honest, your students NEED A BREAK.  Taking a break – resting, relaxing, recouping —  those are all needed to keep a healthy pace of life for you, your leaders, your students, your parents and your ministry.

Every August, our group intentionally takes the entire month off (school doesn’t start where I live until late August). Was it hard at first? Absolutely! I felt guilty. I felt fear. I had a serious case of FOMO. What if parents get upset? What if my kids start going to another ministry? What if they don’t miss me, or us? What if they don’t come back?

The enemy we face everyday tries to convince us that we need to be busy. That our personal value is wrapped up in how much we achieve, both personally and in ministry. The truth is, though, your body needs a break. You need to enjoy life. Create space to play, to dream, and to sleep.

Taking a break is not only good for you, but also your leaders. If we truly do appreciate all the sacrifices they make then one of the biggest gifts we can give them is time and the freedom to take a break.

Taking a break also allows you to recalibrate and refocus. Taking a break from the week-to-week grind of ministry allows you to assess how you’re doing, prune things that need pruning, and create space for you to plan ahead.

So, before summer comes to a close and you launch into another fall season take my advice and shut things down for at least a couple weeks. I promise, it will breathe new life into you, your leaders and your ministry.