The apostles returned the Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

Mark 6:30-31

Ministry can be very fun.

I’m sure the apostles, in their first mission trip had lots of fun seeing miracles as they were instructed to heal the sick, cast out demons, and preach the kingdom of God everywhere.

They had so much fun that the work was overwhelming, as Mark records “for many were coming and going.”

But it came to a point where Jesus recognized, as their ministry leader, that what was being compromised was something equally important to their ministry: their rest.

The text said that he was concerned about the disciples that “they had no leisure even to eat.” That word “leisure” εὐκαιρέω means “to experience a favorable time or occasion for some activity.” And that activity that Jesus wanted them to do was rest.

This is why Jesus had one commandment for them when they returned from their ministry trip: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (v30).

I find it so fascinating, amidst church culture that can often be overworking, that Jesus’ command for his apostles is to rest. The exhaustion of ministry is never meant to be carried on, but it was meant to be dealt with by properly resting our bodies and refreshing our spirits.

For some of us, perhaps our next ministry assignment is the one Jesus gave his disciples: rest!