"My Sabbatical" 2012/5/16 - KL pending
Over ten years ago, I answered what I sensed to be the call of God on my life to help start Highpoint Church
. This calling was birthed out of a passion to see God do something great in the city of Memphis and beyond. This ten-year journey has been one of the greatest challenges, privileges and blessings of my life. This journey has certainly showed me my weaknesses and deficiencies as well as God's grace to use someone like me for His work. I am grateful to serve alongside Chris Conlee
for these ten years, and as we reminisce, we love to reflect on all God has done. We also love to joke that somehow we have squeezed 20 years of ministry into ten!
In honor of ten years of service, Highpoint is giving me the gift of a Sabbatical. It is hard to truly describe the blessing of this gift in advance, but after watching Chris take his "year 10 Sabbatical" last summer, I am eager to experience this blessing. During the months of June and July, I will be on Sabbatical. I'm writing this post to help you understand why I will be limiting my interactions on social media, blogging, email and even absent at Highpoint on Sundays. Here are a few things you need to know about my sabbatical and sabbaticals in general.
1. A sabbatical is a season of time to rest, recuperate, reflect and recharge. The primary purpose for this time is to take a reprieve from my normal workload. The idea is to refresh myself as a husband, father, teacher, writer, and leader through personal time with the Lord, with family, special experiences and projects.
2. A sabbatical is NOT about being lazy. Though I'll be doing a good bit of resting and relaxing, I will be also be taking time to focus on some goals specific to my sabbatical.
My goals include:
- Extended Priority Time each day to read God's word and pray.
- Extended time with family to play, travel and help each of my kids achieve some goals for their lives.
- Weekly date nights with Amanda to give our marriage some additional attention.
- To complete the manuscript and proposal for the marriage book I've been promising!
- To tackle a handful of home improvement projects that have been waiting on me.
- Visit a handful of other churches to encourage and appreciate what God is doing in other places.
- Consistently eat right and exercise.
- Personal growth through DVD training sessions and my summer reading list.
I tend to be overly-optimistic when it comes to goal setting. Given the available time and detailed planning I've done, prayerfully I will accomplish everything above and more.
3. A sabbatical is a privilege for which I am grateful. I know that there are tons of people out there that work just as hard as me and would equally deserve the blessing of a sabbatical. Highpoint Church is a special place and the staff here are the hardest working, highest quality people I've ever worked with. Since we started, we have dreamed of creating a staff culture that honors God's calling on people's lives and their families who faithfully support. A sabbatical is a privilege. I cannot express how grateful I am, along with my wife and children, for this once in a decade gift.
4. A sabbatical is an experiment in faith. A major part of being away for two months is the faith required to disconnect from normal life and rest knowing God is truly the one in charge. We pastors can easily develop a Messiah complex and think God needs us. A sabbatical is an intentional way to remind me that God doesn't need me; He wants me, but doesn't need me. I know that Highpoint will continue along wonderfully without me around for two months. It better or something is very wrong.
5. A sabbatical is about returning. The entire goal of a sabbatical is to return ready for another decade of ministry. I anticipate God showing me more of His plan for my life, giving me more vision for the future and equipping me to return gassed up and ready to run the next leg of ministry with passion.
I humbly ask for your prayers as I'm away. The remaining days in May will be fast and furious to get things ready to be away. Starting in June, I will be very limited on social media, email, blogging and you won't see me at Highpoint over the summer, but I covet your prayers. I will be trying to do a weekly sabbatical update on my blog, and I'll probably Instagram some of the fun we have. This is a once in a decade opportunity so please pray that God use it as such. My family and I love you all.
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