Dear Church Family
This past August I completed my 15th year as your pastor. Each five years the church makes available to our pastors a time of sabbatical leave. This time is meant to help a pastor and his family experience a time of refreshment and rest.
For some time I had been planning for this sabbatical to take place next summer. However, in recent days, I realized that now is the time. In most areas of my life I feel like I have been "leading on empty" and that is not a safe place from which to lead, for anyone. So beginning Sunday, November 1st, I will be away for this much needed time of rest, prayer, counsel, and focused time with my family.
Recognizing the importance of this season in my life and our church's life, the Deacons have asked me to use the last two months of the year as my sabbatical leave. This is longer than normal but I do agree that at this juncture, with an eye on another 15 years of ministry, I need this time.
Fortunately, our church family has a strong and caring staff. They are prepared to lead our church during this time that I am away. They are available to help and assist with ministry needs that arise over the days ahead as well as each of our Deacons. Even though i will be around at a few worship services and events, I will be taking a break from my phone and email but please do communicate to our pastors and to any of our Deacons if there is a need of any kind.
The year ahead is full of major decisions for our church involving new facilities, staff hires and structure, church planting and all those things that come along due to a church our size. I really want to be certain I am leading our church and my family from a healthy place and with a full tank.
I ask of you three things during these days:
1. Pray for me and pray for my family. The Spirit of God will show what specific things to pray for us but especially pray that each of our relationships with Christ will be strengthened and growing. I want to hear from Him so much during these days.
2. Stay faithful. Share your faith. Invite people to church. Support those preaching with your prayers and presence. Serve wholeheartedly.
3. Prepare to give generously toward the end of the year to our missions offering we call the Acts 1:8 Offering.
Finally, please know I love you and I am already looking with excitement to 2016.
We have a good good Father!
October 28, 2015
Dear Church Family