My Sabbatical

I am immensely grateful to the Elders and to our church for granting me a month-long Sabbatical that starts next Monday, June 25th and runs until July 23rd. I will be out of the pulpit for four weeks. Drew Archer, Assistant Pastor at St. Paul’s PCA in Atlanta; Marlin Harris, the new RUF Campus Minister at Mercer; and our own Michael Collins will be filling the pulpit during those weeks.
How do I hope to make the best use of the time I’ll have away from pastoral ministry? Here are my goals:
1. Spiritual refreshment- I look forward to time in the Word and prayer with a clear emphasis on my own growth and not with an eye to “how will I preach or teach this?” I want to read, pray, and journal during this time.
2. Focused reading- I plan to read in several areas: theology, practical ministry with an emphasis on outreach and evangelism, and personal enjoyment. I hope to teach another class in November for the Reformed Seminary in Latin America in Colombia, South America on Christology so I’ll be spending time reading and thinking on that great subject as well.
3. Thinking long term- it’s easy to drift into existing week to week, sermon to sermon. I pray God can give me some insight into the next three to five years of ministry. I want to have some conversations with some trusted advisors for their help, counsel, and perspective.
4. Rest, rejuvenate, and recharge- during this time we will get out of town for about 2 weeks. Connie and I will be attending the burial of Mark Weber at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. on July 9th and stay a few extra days to look around as I have never been there. Later, we will spend a week in North Carolina.

Lord willing, I will be back in the pulpit on July 29th. My goal is that after finishing our Ezra-Nehemiah series, we will begin a look together into the book of James. This book has a lot of practical wisdom to offer us in a wide range of areas. Please know that I’ll be praying for our HLPC family and ministry during these days and that our capable Elders will be available for you while I’m away