My Sabbatical Plan

In about a month from now, I will be taking my first sabbatical ever. Since I have never done this before, I don’t know what to expect or what will come out of it. But because it is in our pastoral staff policy and the Holy Spirit seems to be leading me to this, I am obeying His guidance.

At first, I thought about completely staying away and resting from church ministry. So, I planned not to come to church for any reason even when I am in town. Instead, I thought about attending different churches to experience different styles of worship and learn from them. After giving some thought, however, I realized that I shouldn’t restrict myself entirely to this plan especially when there are some urgent matters at church that need to be taken care of in a timely manner. On most Sundays that I am in town, I will worship at other churches but I will make myself available when there are urgent matters to be taken care of at church.

What, then, could be the urgent matters? There are not too many but I can think of just a few. If a house church needs to multiply and they need their intern to go through shepherd’s orientation and interview with me and receive the prayer on Sunday, then I should make myself available. When the LT is having calendar or budget meeting for 2020, I should be present. If there is a major crisis among church members, and I pray there won’t be any, and I happened to be in town, then I should be there. Other than this type of urgent matters, all the other ministries have been already delegated and will be taken care of by village leaders, team leaders and shepherds.

RJM, Membership Class and Living Life Bible Study that I lead and Premarital Life Bible Study, Married Life Bible Study and Word Life Bible Study-OT taught by Lynette will take a break during my sabbatical. Furthermore, we will skip House Church Seminar for Lay Leaders in October.

Since all my books are in church office, I will be coming to church time to time to use them. At times, I will have lunch with staff or whoever desires to have it with me.

These are the current tentative schedule during which I will be out of town.

  • 7/17-22 (My side of family reunion)
  • 7/29-8/22 (Pastors’ gathering in CO, retreat speaking in CA, Lynette’s side of family reunion, retreat speaking in NJ, friends and family in NY and MA, and a short vacation in ME)
  • 9/18-10/17 (Turkey and Greece to do Apostle Paul’s missionary route)
  • 10/21-10/27 (Personal solitude and revival meeting speaking in OK)
  • 11/7-11/13 (Nephew’s wedding in CA)
  • Possibly 12/2-12/16 (Vacation in Europe)

Other than these traveling dates, I will most likely be in Houston either at home or in libraries reading, studying, editing, translating and writing. Besides these, Lynette and I will also explore our city and the state that we are not too familiar with by going to museums, galleries and gardens, and driving to and visiting some well-known popular places. Your recommendations and suggestions are highly appreciated. And most definitely, I will squeeze in some unhurried fishing time! Let me know if you want to go fishing with me. J

Please pray that my sabbatical after 25 years of ministry here at SBC/New Life will be refreshing, restful and rejuvenating.

Your pastor,

Eric


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