28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matt 11:28-29 NIV
Often when I am trying to explain to someone just what it is that we do at Ascend, I get this knowing look and a response something like this, “oh, you have a recreation ministry.” Folks are generally well meaning when they say this, and genuinely trying to understand our ministry, but it often seems that there is an underlying assumption at work. You see, in the church world we often view life in the terms of a sacred secular divide; there are certain things that are sacred – worship, preaching, bible study, mission trips, etc., and there are certain things that are secular – pretty much everything else. Because we tend to categorize life this way, “recreation” is often seen as something purely fun; it has a value, but it is optional.
If we look at the life of Jesus we see a strikingly different picture. Everything was sacred to Christ. Every interaction with humanity was an opportunity to glorify the Father and expand the Kingdom. Jesus regularly spent time in wilderness solitude finding rest and renewal with the Father, and He called His disciples to do the same.
Ascend is not simply a recreation ministry. It is a Re-Creation ministry. We have the incredible privilege of leading groups of people into the wilderness to find rest and renewal for their souls. It is an amazingly beautiful thing that we get to come alongside weary souls who have been beat down by the pains and pressures of life, and see Christ ignite a fire and passion in their hearts. Through interacting with creation in a fundamental and exciting way they begin to lay their burdens and preconceptions aside and get a glimpse of a life where every action is worship of their Creator.
As we transition from a season of personal Re-Creation and renewal, we look forward to leading others do the same. Have you taken some time recently to Re-Create?
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