Friday, June 11, 2010

Sabbatical - Part 2

The Old Testament makes it quite clear that sabbath rest is important to God. The Torah contains a variety of God’s commands concerning rest and sabbaticals. Whether a person, an animal, or even the earth there is an appointed time for rest. After a Monday morning meeting with the eldership of our church I will be leaving on sabbatical for the summer and returning when school starts in the fall.

Let me share with you some of the goals I have for my sabbatical this summer.

New Perspective. Spending time away from the daily grind of ministry will allow me to reconnect with the world around me and better equip me to reach the world in which I live and minister.

Spiritual Renewal. When one is constantly teaching and preaching for others it can be easy neglect your personal spiritual growth. I look forward to renewing the spiritual disciplines that sometimes get lost in the busy-ness of life.

Rest. It will be nice for a short season to step away from the stress of the care of the church.

Education. While not pursuing a formal degree at this time I’m looking forward to returning to Oxford University to study in their Summer Programme in Theology. I always find my time in the classroom refreshing. It definitely fills my tank for preaching and teaching.

Time with Family. Ministry hours can become invasive to family time. I am looking forward to being available and connecting with Leslie and the boys this summer.

Renewed Passion and Vision. With this time of rest and refreshment I hope to return with a clear sense of mission and renewed energy for the task of Lead Pastor at Christian Life Church.

Thank you for praying for me while I am gone. You can count on my prayers your way. I will miss you but will see you again soon.

Grace and peace, Pastor Daryl

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sabbatical - Part 1

For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”
Isaiah 30:15 (NKJV)

Beginning on June 14 I will be leaving on a two month Sabbatical, a time of purposed rest, reflection, and growth. For the past several years I have been hearing and reading about the necessity of sabbaticals within pastoral ministry. I sometimes joke, it’s great to have a job that you only work one day a week, but to be honest, if served faithfully, the role of pastor can be one of the most demanding jobs in the world. It demands a wide variety of skills, it is physically, emotionally, and spiritually taxing, and it is both so regular (weekly services and meetings) and so variable (crisis management) all at the same time.

During a sabbatical the pastor is relieved of all of the routine and emergency duties so that there can be rest and refreshment with God. This is more than just an extended vacation. A sabbatical is specifically aimed at reinvigorating and renewing the mind and heart of the pastor through research, reading, purposeful travel, writing, etc. Along with connecting with God I will plan to connect with family as well as spend time studying in England at the University of Oxford Summer Programme in Theology.

We have an awesome staff and church family that will carry on the work of ministry while I’m gone. I have been planning this time away since last year and the summer months into the fall season have been planned with great services and events that will connect people to God, connect people to people, and connect people to their calling.

I will miss you while I’m gone. I have to admit, in a way I’m scared to be gone for so long. I love our church! I know that every time we gather together in His name He is there in a supernatural way. I can’t wait to come back and share with you what God taught me during my sabbatical.