Sabbatical Reflections

Screenshot 2018-08-23 at 4.12.28 PMI am nearing the end of my Sabbatical. I’ve been away from the day-to-day operation of the ministry at the Little Church and Lakewood Grace for almost three months. I am eager and looking forward to getting back into the office. I have greater clarity about the future ministry at the Little Church and Lakewood Grace.

There were two goals heading in to the Sabbatical. I wanted a better understanding of ministering with and to Boomers and retirees, and have clarity about discipleship for the whole of Little Church and Lakewood Grace. Through the readings and studies, I have greater clarity in these two areas and look forward to working these things out with our leaders and staff at the Little Church and Lakewood Grace.

The greatest lesson from the Sabbatical has to do with how awesome and amazing God is.

We all know that, but I’m not talking about intellectually knowing, but personally experiencing God’s grace and God’s amazing faithfulness.

I am astounded by how faithful and limitless God’s love is. I know this because I know God loves me! I have given God so many reasons to give up on me, and yet God is faithful, God loves, God forgives, God renews, God restores, God inspires.

How astounding is that?!?!

In times away, it is so easy to see the grandeur and the majesty of God and his power. The more I read, study, and meditate on God, it is so easy to see God’s infinite love for me and our world. And it is truly amazing. I am astounded by God’s amazing love and grace. It is truly awesome!

It is so easy to see God’s grandeur and majesty when I am literally thousands of miles away from the office, from the nitty-gritty work with messy sinful people like me and the people at the Little Church and Lakewood Grace.

In the midst of the messiness and yucky-ness that sometimes goes with working with recovering sinners, it is easy to lose sight of God’s grandeur and God’s majesty.

And it gets so deadeningly exhausting.

In that exhaustion, God’s grandeur and majesty grows dim. It’s so easy to forget.

And the forgetfulness results in trying harder, and the harder I try, the more exhausting it gets.

Because, you see, ministry and eternity-shaping is not what human beings are capable of achieving. This is all God. God doesn’t ask us to change the world. God asks us to obey and join him in changing the world through us. God does the changing.

I thank God for this Sabbatical. It has been refreshing to bask in God’s grandeur and majesty. It has been good for me to be reminded again of how amazing God’s grace is again.

So a couple of things for leaders and pastors.

  1. I hope you are able to get way for a chunk of time regularly from the day-to-day operation of the ministry so you can be reminded of God’s greatness and his calling for you
  2. Daily time in the presence of God is essential. You will lose sight of why you do what you do and will burn out. You must spend time with God in his awesome presence. Only his awesome grace and presence can sustain us. Look, if Jesus needed this, we are without excuse
  3. This is God’s ministry. God invites us to join him. Do you know where God is leading you and your ministry?

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