You are such an amazing church! I love the way God continues to work in us and through us for His glory and our good. I am so blessed by the amazing staff and ministry teams that pour their lives in God’s mission. I am so grateful for God’s protection and guidance as we seek to be a Jesus-centered community on mission. It is such a privilege to serve as your Senior Pastor!
Another reason I am so grateful for this church is your willingness to invest in my growth as a person and as a pastor, as well as your care and concern for my family. I am saddened by the statistics that show so many pastors around the country dealing with burnout, depression, spiritual dryness, poor relationships with friends and family, and thus ministries that do not last. But we also know the opposite is true: when pastors are healthy and growing, their ministries last and good things happen. William Easum, in the Church Growth Handbook, observed: “The longer the pastoral tenure, the more growth is likely to occur.” He goes on to note, however, that long pastoral tenures require two things. The first is “longer and more flexible time away from the church.” The second is a pastor who experiences “regular personal growth so that the church does not outgrow them.”
Because of this, the Governing Board has allowed me to “block” some of my existing vacation and continuing education time to bring about a deeper experience of refreshment, growth, and hearing from God. Thus, I will be out of the office from June 29 – July 26. This month will be a combination of vacation with my family as well as learning and planning for LCC’s future. My continuing education time will include 1) a 48 hour “silent retreat,” 2) strategic reading for upcoming LCC initiatives as well as professional development, 3) visiting other churches, and 4) sermon series planning for the upcoming year.
During this time I will will not be doing any of my normal ministry duties. I will not be checking voicemail or email. However, the life and ministry of LCC will continue as normal during this time due to our excellent, Jesus-centered staff, board, and ministry teams. Pastors Jordan and Noah have planned an awesome sermon series for July called Detox that you won’t want to miss. They will also be on-call and available for any pastoral care or funerals needed during my time away.
Please keep me and my family in prayer during this time, that it might be an amazing and fruitful time of refreshment, growth, and hearing from God.
Be the Church!