Awakenings / Formation

One Place You Can Go to Recover from the Noise of Ministry’s Demands

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Rhesa Higgins is the founding director of eleven:28 ministries, a co-sponsoring partner of our Awakenings Gathering. Rhesa and other members from eleven:28 ministries will be onsite throughout the gathering, offering spiritual direction for those who are interested with costs covered by Missio Alliance. Learn more about the Awakenings Gathering here.


The steady beat that sets the pace for life is “be your best you.”

Be stronger.

Be thinner.

Be vegetarian.

Be keto.

Be younger.

Be smarter.

Be well-read.

Be more degreed.

Be more.

“Be more.” The song in its constancy overwhelms us, like a symphonic overture sweeping through our lives.

Each strike of the bass drum reverberates in our souls, driving us forward to sleep less and not be tired, eat less and not be hungry, have another degree but no student loans, and look like time is moving backward while not trying too hard. The rhythm grows faster and louder with each passing year.

The violin and cello call in tandem to be a strong leader. The foundation of the cello pushes the melody to be deeper and more complex. Read that next leadership book, listen to five new podcasts this week. Leaders are always growing and learning how to do leadership better. At the same time, the violin increases the tempo always calling us to do more. More activity, more meetings, more results, more. The din of the strings adds to the chaos.

Trumpets screech out a warning of family preservation. Pastors’ kids have the hardest time with faith. Pastors’ marriages fall apart at faster rates. All kids must master two instruments, three languages, and physics in order to go college and have any shot at life. Join this club. Do this activity. Have this devotional. Go on this many date nights. Relearn to do math so that you can help with homework. The jarring of the horns hurt like fingernails on a chalkboard.

Clarinets demand attention with their threats of the ever-shrinking church. People aren’t loyal to church anymore. How many congregations closed their doors this month? Will a pastor even have a job in a generation? No one values church any longer. Find the magic combination of mission and attraction to get some bodies in the pews and money in the collection. Do more with less. Expect less from every member. The dissonant screech of fear carries over other sounds.

The cymbal crashes into the mix, screaming of a fractured society. Left and right, both need gospel but can’t be in the building at the same time. Privileged white screams reconciliation while persons of color plead for justice. The trust gap between men and women widens with every #metoo story. Rich and poor have nothing in common requiring their own eucharist experience. The monkey playing the cymbal is smoking from banging that ear-splitting clatter faster and faster.

When the cacophony makes our heart race, eyes twitch, and ear drums burst, how can we reconnect to our Source of life?

Be more, the world sings out to us. A better pastor, a more competent parent, a smarter scholar. The song overwhelms us. How do we reconnect with our Source of Life? Click To Tweet

How about slowing down?

Focus your eyes on the melody of a sunrise. Smell grace in the dew on early spring grass. Taste the rain of heaven on your tongue. Feel your heart pulse out of the gift of life. Hear your breath call Yahweh’s name as it moves in and out of your body.

God’s symphony is small and quiet.

The missio dei is simple and gentle.

Listen. Love will find you.

What If?

What if there was a place where you could reconnect?

What if there was a group of fellow travelers, some ahead of you on your journey, some behind?

What if you could engage deeply in theological conversation, yet also spend time in intentional community doing soul care?

My name is Rhesa Higgins and I’m honored to partner with Missio to help you listen at Awakenings 2019. I want you to find spiritual vitality again. That’s what I do all day, every day, with people like you.

What if there was a place where you could reconnect? What if you could engage in deep theological conversation and tend to your soul with fellow travelers at the same time? There is such a place! Join us at the Awakenings Gathering… Click To Tweet

Awakenings is a gathering of pastors and leaders who seek to move through the cacophony to find the voice of Love together as it calls us into mission.  Won’t you join us?

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