Ron Lewis Shares His Secret to Protecting True Sabbath Rest

Q. What is your greatest joy in leading King's Park and Every Nation NYC?

My greatest joy in overseeing these churches has been watching people flourish in their unique God-given callings and excel in virtually every sphere of society. I've been given something similar to a box seat in a stadium and get to observe, believe with and pray for some of God's finest children. So many excel in dimensions and ways I could never dream of for myself.

Q. How did King's Park become a leader in diverse congregations?

Through intentional efforts to unite and build on the fault line of racial tension. African-Americans were willing to give this vision a chance, then Asians, Hispanics and now nearly 100 ethnicities. Becoming diverse requires a lot of humility. We don't always get our musical preference, nor our favored preaching style, nor a lot of things, but we do get the privilege of being a suburb of heaven—every tribe, tongue and nation worshipping and doing life together in one place.

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Years ago, we moved from the look of diversity into true oneness. Our children are growing up together, doing life together and often marrying along a diversity of ethnicities and skin colors. From a diverse hiring philosophy to entrusting ministry and real ownership to others, we are in a new world of unity and fellowship.

Q. Do you believe God has called you particularly to lead Millennials?

I've not viewed myself as a leader of Millennials, but rather a servant of Millennials. I'm not tattooed, pierced or an avid Instagrammer, but I am a dad of many, and that seems to work much of the time. Millennials have presented me with a fresh opportunity to listen more and try to understand real differences. They represent great potential and hope for new expressions of church and faith in the world.

Q. How do you see grace operate in your life as a pastor?

Virtually everything I do or touch requires God's grace. I am awed that God takes my little loaves and fishes, and He uses them to feed the flock. It's beyond comprehension that God speaks to me about people and that I have an "informant" called the Holy Spirit, who tells me what to say and when to text or call someone. I marvel at His grace in resources to bless the needy, restore/buy properties, build people and help launch new churches. When things grow and multiply, I know who deserves all the credit.

Q. How do you practice Sabbath rest?

I try to take off every Monday and do things that rest my spirit and soul, and are simply what I feel like doing. This might include catching up on some reading, taking a nap (or two) and just winding down from what is normally a hectic week. In addition, I enjoy occasional getaways with my wife and family vacations.

Also, I really try to find that rest that Jesus speaks of in Matthew 11:28-30. I truly believe the Lord wants to carry my load, take my burdens and grant me the privilege of rest, enjoying the simple things and even the demanding things. Jesus is rest. He's not hurried, never was and never will be. He is all I need, and finding rest in Him is greater than the best resort in the Caribbean. (I do like that too!)

Ron Lewis is the founding pastor and overseer of King's Park International Church, which began as a campus ministry, in Durham, North Carolina. With the help of Every Nation Ministries, Lewis co-founded a church in New York, Every Nation NYC, where he serves as senior minister. Learn more at ronlewisministries.com.

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