The Managing Elders have granted me four weeks of study leave, to add to four weeks of vacation time this summer, to create a mini-sabbatical. My time away will extend from Sunday, June 24 till Monday, August 20.
Believe it or not, by the end of this summer I will have been serving as pastor at Bethel for almost six years. Bethel normally allows pastors to take a three-month sabbatical after seven years. However, with Pastor Ryan set to leave for the church plant, we want to take advantage of his availability to preach while he is here; so I am taking a shorter sabbatical time, and taking it a little bit earlier than I normally would have.
A sabbatical has two main purposes: it should refresh the pastor and bring benefit to the church. My limited experience with sabbaticals has shown me that they have the potential to do both of these things. My breaks in the past have left me reinvigorated and full of new ideas that have made sermons more relevant and provided fresh directions for ministry.
Here is how I plan to spent my time:
That is a lot to fit into four weeks, but if I even get most of this done, it will be well worth the investment of time and energy. –Pastor Tom
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