Archive for the 'Sabbatical' Category

Back from Sabbatical

So I just finished my first week back on the job after a three month sabbatical. Sunday was a great reunion with our church family. It was good to be back. I enjoyed preaching again. It was fun to reconnect with people. It was especially encouraging to find that I still had a job upon my return.

I am really blessed to be a part of a church like Cedar Ridge. I realize that sabbatical breaks are a novelty among many churches, even among those with long-serving ministers. That is unfortunate.

Allowing a minister to break away from his regular responsibilties is healthy for several reasons:

1. As a key leader in our congregation, I came back more rested and energized than I have been in a long time. I expect that to be a very positive thing for our church as we have some pretty ambitious goals ahead of us.
2. When a key leader is gone, it forces others to step up to the leadership plate. It’s not that people aren’t willing. Sometimes the status quo doesn’t allow for opportunty.
3. It also reminds a leader that he is not indispensable – the kingdom still advances without you. A scary position for the insecure.
4. It’s good to see leaders model the biblical principle of “rest.”
5. When lot of churches are experience tumultuous time, I think it was good for our church family to see a positive, pro-active leadership situation. This sabbatical had been in the works for a year. It was not a reaction to a “troubled leader” or a “transitioning leader” or even a “conflicted leadership”. This was simply a church leadership saying “we need our key leader at his best for the season of ministry before us.”

It’s great to be a part of a church like that. Thank you Cedar Ridge!

Update on my Sabbatical

Some have asked about my upcoming Sabbatical. In preparation for what I see as a busy season of ministry ahead of us and to “catch my breath” after 20 years of ministry, I will be taking a time of sabbath rest this summer. The term sabbath means “to cease” or “to rest.” God the Creator modeled it for us in Genesis 2 when He rested. You could say it is a discipline of abstinence from the routine activities for the express purpose of becoming more sufficient on God. I’m still working out some of the details for my sabbatical, but here’s what I do know:

I will be away from the church office and ministerial responsibilities from May 20th through September 2nd. I don’t anticipate any interruptions in the work and ministry at Cedar Ridge. Our staff and elders are a terrific team and things will continue, not missing a beat, with the same pursuit of our mission and vision.

The preaching schedule, for the Sundays I’ll be out, has already been filled. It will include a mix of current staff members preaching a summer-long series on relationships based on the Fruit of the Spirit. Matt Proctor, President of Ozark Christian College, and Doug Priest, 2008 National Missionary Convention President, will be filling in selected dates as well.

What will I be doing while away? Well, I have a mission trip to Africa in the works. I plan to visit some designated churches in our region and talk with their senior leaders. I will attend the North American Christian Convention in Cincinatti. I will take some time for study and prayer. Of course, I also have a list of projects around the house I hope to tackle.

I’ll keep you posted on my latest plans. You can also keep up with me during my sabbatical right here. I’ll be writing regularly.