What is a sabbatical?
A Sabbatical is an extended time of absence from a position or role for the purpose of renewal or other specific purpose. For pastors, it is a time off intended to encourage spiritual refreshing and renewal for continued long term healthy service.
- You can read about it on Wikipedia by clicking here!!
- You can read what the Mennonite Church has to say about sabbaticals by clicking here!
Why are you going on one?
Each staff member at CCF has a contract agreement of employment. CCF has graciously built into my contract a 2 month sabbatical every 4 years (we are celebrating 5 years, but we postponed it last year). Why else would we be going?
- We receive the obvious benefits of refreshing and renewed perspective spiritually. Great family time and rest.
- The church also benefits!! To name a few of those benefits: the exercise of lay leadership gifts, the increased leadership possibilities of our staff, a reminder that no church is built on a person or a personality, people to learn to trust other leaders, etc.
- Because I want to last here! So many pastors burn out or have moral failures because they focus on leading everyone else and ignore their own growth. This is a time for Noah and God to work on Noah.
Is this basically a long vacation? If so, is it OK for me to be jealous?
No, it is not a vacation. It is a time dedicated for spiritual growth, not simply recreation. Thou shalt not envy.
When do you leave CCF?
This Sunday, May 31 is my last day of service. Sabbatical begins June 1, 2009.
When will you return?
I will be back in the Sunday service on Sunday, August 16th and in the office the 17th.
Where are you going?
We will start with some personal time and vacation and then we will be headed to spend a month+ in Colorado in the Rockies...staring at the beauty of God's creation! Then, I will be flying to Hong Kong to spend the first half of August with the Kauffman's doing missions work there. (Tricia and Davis will not be there for that part...bummer.)
Are Davis and Tricia coming?
What will you be doing?
For the most part, I will spend the first segment of most days in solitude, reading and prayer (in the presence of God). Then, we will do things together as a family. We are actually preparing to do a lot of exploring, hiking and outdoorsy stuff! The area and the weather will both be gorgeous!
Who do I contact if I need something that I would usually contact you about?
The church. Any Staff member. Your Small Group.
Will we still get prayer emails?
Yes. Direct all requests to Jaye or Pastor Nelson. They can both send them.
Who is preaching and who is serving in your role while you are gone?
Pastor Nelson. He will be assuming an Interim Lead Pastor Role while I am away. I have downloaded much of what I do to him over the last few weeks and I am confident that he will do an excellent job serving this summer. He will be preaching and coordinating other communicators throughout the summer.
Now that Tricia works at the church, who will be doing her job in the Kid's Ministry?
Tonya Wood, Rebecca Martin, Lisa Lewis and all the wonderful Capi's Kids workers!
Will you be reachable?
I will be reachable to Staff and Board for emergencies.
Will you be blogging?
Yes. But, much less then I normally would. Check in a couple times a week. During this time, I need to do more listening than talking. More taking in than giving out.
Will you be twittering?
Very little, if at all! I do not want to say no, because if we see something really cool, I may really want to tell you. Like, what if a bear is climbing on our windshield? That would be an AWESOME twitter! You get my point. (Besides, if I say no and then I do, you all will have some comment to make, smile.)
What about emailing?
I will NOT be receiving CCF emails this summer. Jaye Lindo will be serving as my assistant and will be managing my email account while I am away.
Will you be on Facebook?
Very little, if at all! I need to be getting God's Status Updates for a while, not yours.
Will you be reachable by cell phone?
No. Tricia will be. This way, I do not spend my sabbatical texting! The fruit of the spirit is self control. ;-) It will do me well to step away from technology for a while and focus on the Lord.
What about emergencies?
The Staff and Executive Board know what I would want to be contacted for and they know how to reach me in an emergency.
Can I use your car while you are gone?
Can I use your house while you are gone?
What if you really like it where you are going and don't want to come back?
In the words of the Terminator..."I'll be back!"
How can we pray for you this summer?
Pray that with God's help I (we) will lock in new spiritual and physical habits that will go with me for the rest of my life and ministry. Plan to spend time in the presence of God like NEVER before and to be physically fit like NEVER before. Pray also that the 3 of us grow together as a family and make wonderful memories. We truly appreciate your prayer support.
Will we miss you?
Does the sun come up in the morning? Does Billy Graham have a quiet time? Is snow white? You bet we will!! Like crazy!
One more thing....we want each of you to know how thankful that we are for this gift that CCF is giving us! This is not an entitlement or something that we expect, rather a gift that we are grateful to receive!
We love you!
Noah, Tricia and Davis