February of this year marked 10 yrs of FT ministry at Grace Bible Fellowship. And June marked 20 yrs of marriage for Casey and I. We are thankful to have shared over half our married life together, with y’all.
For 10 yrs y’all have been gracious and patient and God has been more than faithful. I look forward to many more years here with y’all, making disciples of Jesus Christ in a way that is gospel centered, relational, and fun.
But after 10 yrs of putting up with me as your pastor, the elders felt like y’all needed a break 🙂 So, starting today I’m going to take a monthlong sabbatical. It’s important to me for y’all to know that this extended time away is not something I asked for, but rather something that was offered. I love my church family, love what I do, and consider it a great privilege to serve as your pastor.
I also don’t want to throw our elders under the bus for the break. I accepted the time, when it was offered. I’ve heard from several wise people including some pastors who have pastored longer than me, that they highly recommend me doing something like this. One pastor said that after 10 yrs of service he was offered a sabbatical, he was hesitant to take it, but it ended up being a great thing for him and his entire church family. So, I’m not taking this sabbatical because I want to leave our church or because I’m tired of it. I’m taking it because I love our church and I want to stay. I think this will be good for me and my family, and good for us as a church, or I wouldn’t be doing it.
Our church is gonna be well taken care of while I’m out. Rhome Van Dyck is going to bless you with a series in Esther for the next few Sundays. Price will be here for day to day stuffm and Lara, Alicia, and Sydney will be available during the week too.
I’m gonna unplug and spend some time investing in my marriage, my family, and my personal relationship with God. When I say unplug, I mean it. I even invested in a flip phone to limit my access to email, internet, and social media. I hope to get some time to step back and take a look at the big picture of ministry. I look at this Sabbatical as a time to work on ministry, rather than working in ministry. I’ll see y’all back in August with a better perspective, and a better tan.