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Wilderness

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : September 11, 2004

Today I’m leaving for an over-night bachelor party. Just a bunch of guys in a rustic cabin in Minnesota. I’ve been promised beer, fire, and shooting stuff. That sounds SOOO good right now.

A number of my fellow church planters tend to think that you have to be uber busy all the time when planting a church. I resisted that impulse until recently. A couple weeks ago, around the time we started our larger Sunday gatherings and at the same time split our group into two house churches, things got stressfully busy for me. I’ve been an ogre to Amy (my wife), I’ve been losing some sleep, and I’ve had headaches.

This isn’t to say: “Look how cool I am. I’m way more stressed than you!” I hate it when people measure their worth by how busy and stressed they are. It is a sick phenomenon.

It is to say: “Put relaxation into your schedule.” Starting a new work can be consuming. Give yourself a REAL day off every week. Go to the wilderness often. Have dates every week with your wife or girlfriend…or if you don’t have either of those in your life, hang out with a buddy.

Mark Van Steenwyk is the general editor of Jesus Manifesto. He is a Mennonite pastor (Missio Dei in Minneapolis), writer, speaker, and grassroots educator. He lives in South Minneapolis with his wife (Amy), son (Jonas) and some of their friends.


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