How will you be useless to capitalism today?
The question covers the landing page for the revolutionary performance-art meets ministry meets social justice movement called The Nap Ministry. This simple, and powerfully subversive “REST AS RESISTANCE” model suggests that our cultural resistance to appropriate rest is a crisis that affects our entire humanity, causing depletion in our spiritual, emotional, physical, mental, and social health. Founder Tricia Hersey frames these issues as ones of both personal well-being but also racial and social justice, framing specifically the rest of people of color as radically subversive of their exploitation by capitalist systems.
For The Nap Ministry, the medium is very much the message, with the organization currently taking a two month sabbath with no social media, no bookings, no email in order to demonstrate that the work of liberation and hope for a community must start with the liberation and hope of a single person.
Where do we allow ourselves to experience the good news we seek to create? In what ways do we actually live out the hope, peace, love, grace, and joy that our organizations seek to create? When we don’t allow ourselves those gifts, what are we communicating to those that seek to utilize our ministries? To our teams? To the God we serve? To ourselves?
The Nap Ministry encourages us to radically reconsider what we think to be “successful” ministry and ministry innovation. The Nap Ministry has created rich conversation, radically subversive art installations, and personally transformative ministries all by doing… nothing. Their signature installation is simply a space designed for people to come and nap. Their unapologetic, self-assured Good News is challenging models of ministry and models of what it means to lead a ministry in a powerful way.
How can we learn from their example?