Indelible Grace Church

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Reflections on a Sabbatical

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Many people have asked me – how was your sabbatical? My answer, in a word – amazing. Truly. I feel deeply renewed and restored and full of energy and eagerness to return to ministry work. I know that most pastors do not get sabbaticals. So I feel deeply grateful and privileged to have this extended time off.

The other question people have asked is – what did you do on your sabbatical? Here’s a brief summary:

(1) I spent a lot of time being with my family. We had lots of unstructured and unhurried time together, just talking and playing and being together. This was especially meaningful for my boys, and I felt their pleasure in it. One of the highlights of the summer was a pair of camping trips we took with other families in the church. The best thing about camping is just seeing all the kids play together, scampering over fallen trees, wading in creeks, roasting marshmallows over a fire.

(2) I did a ton of reading. I read and I read until I felt sated. Reading is my happy place, and I spent many a day immersed in books, lost in thought, time unnoticed. It was deliriously joyful.

(3) I exercised a lot. Unfortunately, my sitting pain is largely the same. But I’ve experienced a big boost in energy and mood. Kind of a surprise actually. Who knew?

(4) Finally, I spent a lot of time in self-reflection. I started seeing a counselor. Perhaps the most impactful book I read over the sabbatical was Peacemaker by Ken Sande, which is about how to resolve conflicts in a biblical way. I learned that it’s good to overlook small offenses rather than dwell on them. That you can affirm someone’s perspective, without invalidating your own. And most importantly, that every conflict, rather than being a rude intrusion on your life, is an opportunity to honor God and grow in character. I know I have a lot more to learn, and I’m excited for the journey.

Finally, I want to thank the congregation for giving me and my family this extended time off. Please know, it’s been an immeasurable gift. I want to thank the elders for their support and for shepherding the congregation in these past months. And I want to most especially thank Wade and Tracy who have shouldered the bulk of the ministry workload while I’ve been absent. You guys are amazing. I’m honored to call you my colleagues, and more than that, my friends.

Pastor Michael

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 October 2019 10:53