Pick one:

  1.     What’s your idea of a happy or successful vacation? When was the last time you had one?
  2.     When has someone with an urgent problem pressed you to delay going on vacation?



This story recalls God’s feeding of the Israelites in the wilderness, as well as other miraculous acts of God in the time of the Kings and the Prophets. Jesus, the royal and good shepherd, invites his disciples (apprentices) and all those ‘like sheep without a shepherd’ to gather with him for rest, nourishment, and restoration from God. This story marks the onset of a third tour of ministry through the region of Galilee. Jesus’ disciples are exhausted and exhilarated by all that’s happened thus far.


God’s story

Have someone read Mark 6: 30-44. As you listen, look for work-rest issues and how they’re resolved.


Finding My Story in God’s story

  1. When was the last time you had to make a hard choice about when or whether to take a break from work?
    1. After the last cutting of hay, I was happy but physically exhausted. It was easy to rest!
    2. After a large project, my team was tired, but we had immediate follow-up tasks.
    3. When experiencing work demands, childcare, a friend in crisis, and sick parents.
    4. A client had a problem the day before my vacation, demanding a solution ASAP.
    5. Other __________.


2. The disciples sensibly request Jesus send the crowds away to get their own supper at day’s end. Jesus counters, “You give them something to eat.” What do you suppose they were thinking and feeling in response? How would you have responded to Jesus?

  1. Dude, we’ve been busting our butts all day, can’t they find a pizza shop or something?
  2. We’re concerned for you, Jesus, that you just don’t know when to stop.
  3. We’re exhausted and can’t keep up, as the needs and work just keep coming.
  4. There’s few of us and little food. If only he cared for us as much as he does for them!
  5. Other __________.


3. Given what Jesus asks the disciples to do and what happens as a result, I’m wondering …

  1. Has Jesus lost his grip on reality, or is there some supernatural reservoir he can tap?
  2. What difference does it make to organize people into groups?
  3. What’s the math or mechanics behind multiplying 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed 5,000?
  4. I wonder what Jesus prayed to his Father that such scarcity turned into abundance?
  5. Other __________.


4. How does Jesus solve the problem presented to him by the masses and by the disciples?

  1. He invites the disciples to work differently than expected.
  2. He shares the burdens in a practical way with God and others.
  3. He invites the disciples to scrap the scarcity model and imagine abundance instead.
  4. He knew putting others first would get the disciples in the right frame of mind.
  5. Other __________.

5.  How might your tasks be made easier or simpler by trusting Jesus in response to some stressors and choices you are facing?

  1. I could worry less, pray more, and work with what I have in hand.
  2. I could brainstorm and delegate more with my team and trust God for the outcomes.
  3. I could claim the time off I’ve been postponing and leave the work to others for now.
  4. I could organize mentally and physically to allow God to work in and thru me.
  5. I could ease up on the gas pedal, get less done, but improve my life.


Our Story

6. In what places in your life do you feel like you don’t have enough, or more than you thought?

  1. Work, family, fun, funds, sleep—you name it—I run out of time each day.
  2. Money issues—there’s always too much month left at the end of the money.
  3. Twenty minutes of peace to recharge my batteries—that picks me up every time.
  4. I don’t sweat the small stuff, I enjoy green space, and leave the big stuff to God.
  5. Other __________.


7.What takeaways related to work and rest did you find in the scripture and discussion today?

  1. God wants me to develop a good ‘rest ethic’ as part of a good work ethic.
  2. What someone said helped me better understand my own needs for rest.
  3. This story gives us confidence to take steps into what we think we can’t do.
  4. God desires to gather us in work that fosters faith, compassion, and wellbeing.
  5. What else?


8.What can the members of this group do to hold one another in prayer and offer help and support to live faithfully in the coming week?


9. What can we do to help one another rest and work appropriately?