Starting July 1, I will be on sabbatical for the month of July. I am thankful for the way in which our church has taken the initiative to provide for the strength and health of our ministerial staff by setting aside sabbatical times for us. Thank you.
Generally, pastoral sabbaticals are set up to give pastoral staff the opportunity to rest, refresh, and refocus. The very word comes from the Hebrew word sabbath, meaning rest. Pastoring is a wonderful blessing. It is the calling our Lord has placed on my life. Ministry life is also challenging, hard, and draining work. I am completely satisfied and enthusiastic about my ministry with our church…and look to be even more so when we get back in August. (By the way, I will not have preached in a month when I get to that first Sunday morning in August!!! Y’all better be ready!) By unplugging, we are looking for God to recharge us for further effectiveness going forward.
Unplugging means we won’t be around the church for the month. In fact, Rhonda and I will be out of town for at least three weeks! (I don’t think we have ever done that at any point in any ministry at any church I have served!) [Also, our boys won’t be going with us due to their work schedules….so, you could say she and I will be totally unplugged for most of the month.] I would appreciate your prayers for my family as we put this time to good use…that we would have safety in travel, relaxing times everywhere we will be, and that God would simply bless my family during this sabbatical time.
While we are out, my friend, Cephus Nziramasanga, will be preaching on Sunday mornings. He preached at our church about a year ago when we were on vacation. He will be a blessing to our church. Be sure to be here every Sunday. Our Sunday nights are going to be a mixture of things: July 3 – No Evening Service; July 10 – My friend Kevin Barnes will be preaching; July 17 – Quarterly Business Meeting; July 24 – Birthday Fellowship Dinner; July 31 – Worship Connexion at Open Door Bible Baptist Church. Our Wednesday night Prayer Meetings will be led by Mark Foltz or Jamie Cartledge. I am very thankful for everyone who is stepping in to lead these weekly ministry gatherings.
Speaking of day-to-day ministry, if you or your family encounter a specific need in your life–illness, hospitalization, other emergency need, or help with a ministry need–please either contact the church office, or your deacon, the ‘deacon of the week’ (listed in each week’s bulletin), or Jamie. Our deacons and Jamie will be working to take care of the care ministry needs of our church while I am away. It bears repeating…I am very thankful for these men in our church who have a love for our church family and a heart to minister at any and all times.
I know my church family is in good hands. I look forward to this special time away. We will see you all in August!!