Your January Resources Are Here!

Happy New Year, M2P Community! That’s right; it’s a new year—another trip around the sun together with 364 brand new opportunities for fresh starts, new adventures, goal setting, and fertile ground to be taken for the Glory of God! Sure, these are all great and even potentially God-honoring aspirations for 2024. But as exciting as that all is supposed to sound to us as children’s and youth ministry leaders, for many, it sounds a whole lot more like limping back onto a hamster wheel of ministry that’s leading us down the road of spiritual exhaustion and ministry burnout.


Let’s be honest; there’s a lot to manage when daily navigating our children’s/youth ministry life, home/family life, or both simultaneously. To say we are “busy” is often an understatement. The frantic pace of life we often live is leading us to a place of emptiness and exhaustion where we simply cannot give the Lord or our families our best. This emptiness, exhaustion, and “addiction to busy” is just as real and just as much of an issue for the parents to whom we are ministering. And yet, we all struggle to fight the natural push we feel towards taking on more—a constant pressure to do more, be more, offer more, and add more. So, in response, we tend to move from event to event, leaving little time for rest, reflection, or genuine relational connection. Our culture (and quite honestly, many of our churches) not only celebrate our addiction to busy but we are also taught to wear the “Well, I’m busy!” answer to “How are you doing?” as some sort of badge of honor. We have either bought into (or been pushed into) the ways of the world when it comes to the speed at which we think we need to operate. The idea of slowing it all down, creating a healthy rhythm, and caring for ourselves or the people we love and lead can feel like a pipedream. 


It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it shouldn’t be this way. God has not created us, the families, or the ministries we lead to run at a breakneck speed—cramming in every little bit we can. We have been created to be in relationship with Him, in relationship with others, and to develop a pattern of life that allows space for both. God encourages us to be still and focus on Him. He wants us to rest in His presence and learn to seek His kingdom above all else. He wants us to learn that loving each other in true relationships is more valuable than being involved in more things, taking on more things, offering more things, or getting more accomplished. As children’s and youth ministry leaders, we need to begin this new year with an openness to thinking differently in this area, and we need to lead the parents in our churches to do the same. When we choose to intentionally slow down, rest in Him, and live life according to what He wants instead of what the world pushes us into, our hearts and souls have the opportunity to settle down and better connect with Him and those around us. 


This month’s M2P resources have been uniquely crafted to challenge and equip you, the leaders who serve alongside you, and the parents in your ministry to step into a new year with a resolution to slow down, rest in the Lord, and live life at a sustainable and healthy pace that honors Him. Our Coaching Video will provide you and your leaders with thoughtful insights, creative ideas, and practical steps that will help you create healthy rhythms. This month’s Blog Articles and our Online Parenting Class Videos share some great insights about what we need as we all seek to rest in the Lord and live as He intends us to live. This month’s Toolbox Resource is called A Family Guide to Building Rest, and it provides parents with some specific disciplines and practices they can use to begin building habits and laying a foundation for developing a healthier pace at home. Our social media resources will help you reinforce these ideas to parents. It’s all designed to serve you as you serve and equip the parents in your church. 



Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
 – Matthew 11:28-30 ESV



The M2P Team



Learning how to build rest into our daily rhythms often requires us to be more intentional about implementing some specific practices and disciplines into our daily lives. Although these practices and disciplines are no “magic pill’ that will undo years of learned “addiction to being busy” overnight, committing to a more sustainable cadence of rest will, over time, help us to build the new daily rhythms we desire and so desperately need.


A Family Guide to Building Rest is designed to provide you with some practical steps to take over the course of four weeks to begin building habits and laying a foundation for developing a healthier pace that can help you to live in the way rest that God intends for you to live. Please note that this resource is titled A Family Guide to Building Rest, not A Parent-Only Guide to Building Rest. This is as important as it is intentional. Our desire is for this guide to encourage both you and your entire family to begin implementing these practices and disciplines into your daily lives. As a parent, your example of intentionally choosing rest over an addiction to being busy will help your kids(s) and teenager(s) to rethink and reconsider the prioritization of slowing down, resting, and connecting with the Lord on a regular basis. With that in mind, tweak these habits and practices to fit your family context, and feel free to simplify steps or only use those your kids(s) and teenager(s) can do along with you. Make sure to set aside a few minutes at the end of each week to talk together about what you learned through these exercises. 



  • Download A Family Guide to Building Rest  and post it on your website.
  • Email parents a copy of A Family Guide to Building Rest and encourage them to set aside some time to go through it this month together with their family.
  • Print copies of A Family Guide to Building Rest for parents to grab at church and let them know where they can pick it up.
To download, click HERE for youth and HERE for kids.

As we move along in our journey as a children’s or youth ministry leader, it can seem like one busy season of life, and ministry simply bleeds into another busy season of life and ministry. We are often working long hours and dealing with physically and emotionally draining situations. We get tired and often don’t have (or take) the time we need to rest and recover. We find ourselves feeling exhausted, not able to muster up the energy we need to do the things God is calling us to do. We feel guilty that we aren’t where we need to be physically, spiritually, and emotionally, and we can struggle to get it together and lead in the way we want to lead.


Parents in our church often feel the same way. They are juggling schedules and activities, and they feel like they are always on the run. They move from one practice or activity to another, finding just enough time for a drive-through dinner to feed their family. Most of them would say that they value rest and quality time to connect; they just can’t seem to jump off the hamster wheel of life and slow it all down. The pressures of the world and the perception that they have to be “busy” wins the day.


This month, we want to encourage you to both pay attention to your own pace of life and help the parents and families in your ministry pay attention to theirs. We all need to learn how to build a healthy rhythm that allows space for rest, reflection, and authentic personal connection. God made us to “be,” not just “do.” If we want to live the abundant life that we were made to live, something has to change in the way we approach each and every day. This month’s coaching videos will address building a healthy rhythm and provide you with practical ways to do it.


To view, click HERE for youth and HERE for kids.


There is no doubt that most of the parents we serve in our churches and communities are often running on empty. Their busy schedules take them from event to event, and they struggle to find time to catch their breath. Their family is always busy, and the relentless pace takes a toll on so many things. They rarely have time for the real rest, reflection, and soul restoration that they desperately need. They need these things in order to live their lives at a sustainable, healthy pace that leads them to the abundant life God has for them. This month’s Online Parenting Classes offer an encouragement to parents to think about family life in a different way and take some steps to slow it all down. 

To view, click HERE for youth and HERE for kids.


New blog posts coming this month:


  • Kids’ Ministry Leaders: “The Gift of a Slower Season” by Amy Diller
  • For Kids’ Ministry Parents: “The Gift of January” by Amy Diller
  • For Youth Ministry Leaders: “Embracing the Rhythm of Rest” by Chris Sasser
  • For Youth Ministry Parents: “Finding Real Rest” by Chris Sasser

To view, click HERE