In the fall of 2015, Summit leaders, Greg and Shane, saw the weariness in Pastor Jeff and pressed the elders to consider a sabbatical. This has been something the elders have been thinking and praying about since February 2015. The elders have decided to grant a sabbatical for this summer. The elders believe that such a Sabbatical, after 17 years at Lincolnway Christian Church and 33 years of ministry, will benefit the pastor and the congregation, collectively. We also believe that God blesses churches that honor Him and His appointed pastors.
What is a Sabbatical?
According to Genesis, it means Shabbat or “cease” or “stop” from normal work to rest and re-create
What a Sabbatical is not
It is not a vacation.
It is not due to a crisis.
Why grant a Pastoral Sabbatical?
Many churches have historically granted a pastor a sabbatical as a time to be spiritually led in order to increase his spiritual growth. Deeper intimacy with God will include an opportunity for extended time of reading, writing, thinking, and praying.
What is the benefit to the congregation?
The congregation has the opportunity to grow spiritually and encounter God in a unique way that cannot happen when the pastor is present. When the resource is missing, it forces us to go to the true Source (our heavenly Father). It will deepen our dependency upon God instead of deferring straight to the pastor. Others will have an opportunity to step up to the plate with regard to leadership or task accomplishment.
How long will the Sabbatical be?
Pastor Jeff will be gone for 10 weeks from June 13th-August 21st
What will Pastor Jeff do for 10 weeks?
He will spend time away with God
Times of solitude and silence at an Abbey
Times of study at an RZIM Summer Institute
Times of pastoral retreat at the Life Action Lodge
Times of reflection, with a journey east to places of significant spiritual moments in his life
Time of being in God’s creation out west
Who will visit us if we are sick? Who do we contact if we have prayer concerns?
The LWCC Elders, assisted by the staff, will shepherd the congregation, assist with prayer concerns, make home or hospital visits, and take care of the congregation’s needs.
What happens in case of an emergency?
If an emergency arises, the chair of the Elders will contact Jeff. If requested, Jeff will return for the funeral of a member unless he is unavailable due to attendance at a Sabbatical program.
What will happen on Sunday? Who will preach while Jeff is gone?
We have a great teaching team in place with Nick and Steve. While Jeff is gone, Nick and Steve will each be speaking.
We will also have a guest speaker for one week.
What can we do during the Sabbatical?
Pray. Pray for Pastor and for the church. Pray that both will grow.
Volunteer. Help fill a need this summer. Who knows, you might discover a hidden passion.
If you have any more questions, please reach out and contact the Elders. You can reach the chair of the Elders here.