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.