“One of the gifts of a pastor taking sabbath is that it leaves space for the congregation to find their rightful place in the work of ministry. Suddenly, the things that need doing are not in the hands of some “religious professional” but where they should be, with the people of God! “
Hello Gloria Dei,
As we move through the month of May, with end of school year activities, graduations, and gearing up for some possible summer vacations, I pray that in the midst of all that is going on in your life, that you continue to focus on your faith and the things of God. Just imagine, the God that created the beauty of this world is also the God who knows you completely and loves you dearly. May God meet you and bless you in all that is going on in your life.
As we continue our reading through the New Testament, for this weekend in worship, please read the short books of Titus and Philemon. We will recognize High School graduates at our 9:00 a.m. worship service this Sunday.
I’m including the third installment from Pastor Chris on “What is a Sabbatical?” We pray for Chris during these three months of his sabbatical, that God will bring him and his family blessings during this time of rest, renewal, and learning.
What is a Sabbatical?
Hi Gloria Dei! It’s my last article to share before I begin sabbatical. Once again, thank you for this incredible gift and your support. I hope and pray that this sabbatical time is not only beneficial for me, but also for you.
A challenging piece of a sabbatical is the limited communication between pastor and congregation members. Pastors are asked to refrain from communicating with members of the congregation. And the congregation is asked to refrain from communicating with the pastor. I won’t be responding to emails, texts, phone calls, etc. This is to allow the sabbatical to truly be sabbath. This is a challenge for me, because I love serving with you all, but I know you’re in God’s good hands through the amazing leaders at Gloria Dei!
Maybe think of it this way: in the Scriptures, we’re told that sabbath is not only for you but for all members of your household. When God commands us to rest on the sabbath, God is not only commanding us, but all of those who are in relationship with us. For the Israelites, it was their whole household, including their servants, their animals, their fields, and every living thing that was in relationship with them. Sabbath is not only a break for us, but also a break from us.
One of the gifts of a pastor taking sabbath is that it leaves space for the congregation to find their rightful place in the work of ministry. Suddenly, the things that need doing are not in the hands of some “religious professional” but where they should be, with the people of God! A sabbatical is an opportunity for you all to find a role to play in the work of ministry that uses your gifts and sets you into a life of discipleship with Jesus.
Consider how beneficial a sabbatical might be for you as a congregation. Consider the gifts God has given you. How might God use you in His service? What role might you find in the work I do here? What Mission and Outreach might you be called to? Haircuts on the GO? Journey of Hope? Meals on Wheels? Nightwatch? St Francis House? Quilting? Mission-Haiti? The list is long, and the work is important and meaningful. How might God use you to do the work of ministry that He’s called all of us to do together?
Enjoy your summer (and your break from me ). See you at the end of August!
– Pastor Chris