Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Lead Pastor's Sabbatical

           On Sunday, April 8 I will begin a six week sabbatical.

           A sabbatical is a benefit churches offer their pastors.  Research has shown that the demands on pastors today are heavy and they can take a toll physically, emotionally and even spiritually.  Two of the most common effects are pastoral burnout and pastoral turnover.

          The denomination has found that pastoral sabbaticals can offer pastors the kind of renewal that will minimize the possibility of burnout, can extend tenure at a church, and can offer the church the benefit of a pastor with renewed energy and perhaps even renewed vision.

          Thankfully CBC provides its pastoral team a sabbatical every five years.  The personnel policy for pastoral sabbaticals can be viewed here.

          I have had the privilege of serving here at Calvary for almost 8 years this summer.  Every year I rejoice about what God is doing here and how I get to serve such an incredible congregation.  I am looking forward to this sabbatical the church through the personnel committee has granted me.

          My hope is that during these 6 weeks I will experience spiritual renewal and have the opportunity to recalibrate my ministry focus and approach.  I hope to spend time in prayer, meditation, reading, and journaling.  I hope to spend significant time with my wife talking and discovering what God wants to do through us during this season.  My prayer is that I would return to Calvary refreshed and renewed and ready to move forward with what God has in store for us.

          We plan to spend about 10 days in the Washington DC area where we will stay with some friends.  We will return to spend several days in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, then in Lubbock, next in a friends' lake house close to Waco.  Thank God for free lodging! We will wrap our sabbatical up either in the hill country or in South Texas (or both).

          We are blessed with a pastoral team, a deacon body, worship leaders and other lay leaders at Calvary who love the Lord and love the church.  I am confident God will continue to use them in preaching, leading worship, administration, pastoral care, missions, group life and the general ministry of the church.

          Pray for them.  Pray for me.  I will pray for you.  See you in May!