30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. Church leaders need to hold up what they have done to the measure of Christ.
31 He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Church leaders need to get away to rest and reflect.
32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.
33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.
34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. Compassion, rather than duty or compulsion, fuels leaders. Compassion that reflect Christ.
35 When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, "This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late;
36 send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat."
37 But he answered them, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?" Leaders are asked by Christ to move beyond their perceived capacity. Expect to be challenged by the Gospel.
38 And he said to them, "How many loaves have you? Go and see." When they had found out, they said, "Five, and two fish." When subject to Christ’s call, the resources are there. Inventory them. All of them.
39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. Leaders hare responsibility.
40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and of fifties.
41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and he divided the two fish among them all. Christ must be a part of all leadership. Christ transforms our “scarcity” to his “abundance.”
42 And all ate and were filled;
43 and they took up twelve baskets full of broken pieces and of the fish. Leaders are stewards.
44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men. Scripture does have a cultural bias that leaders need to interpret. Scripture is not self-interpreting.
45 Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd.
46After saying farewell to them, he went up on the mountain to pray. Even with a break for compassion ministry, the need to get away and to pray remains. Interruptions will happen and need to be addressed. Spiritual derailment, however, is not an option.