by Mike Willis
“Sabbatical.” Common word, right? Not at all.
Two years ago, our elders extended to me their desire that I take and enjoy a Sabbatical – extended rest. It will be happening this summer. Three months away from the work of ministry to rest in mind, heart, body and soul. Just a few nights ago, a seasoned Pastor asked me if our elders at Harvest Raleigh initiated this Sabbatical for me and I joyfully and gratefully responded “Yes!”. Elders reading this, initiate a Sabbatical for your Pastor!
Ministry is non-stop. It just never ends – the good and the bad. Being a Pastor is a front-row seat to the places God is lighting up (conversion, answers to prayer, spiritual growth, family expansion) and the most grueling parts of people’s lives (marriage struggles, unemployment, unrepentant sinfulness) where God wants to work. I can always celebrate more with people, grieve more, help more, sharpen the sermon more…
It’s why, “Pastor Mike, we want you to rest” is so appealing. Most Pastors, statistically, who don’t have Sabbatical offered to them burn out.
Sabbatical is a step of obedience and faith to rest from the physical, mental and emotional strains of ministry. Sabbatical is also a time of great spiritual renewal.
Pray with me and my family for physical and spiritual rest, God’s grace to pour into us toward renewal and new healthy rhythms, revealing and working me through any sinful ways within me, and for the well-being of Harvest Raleigh while I’m away.
For Harvest Raleigh, God has wonderfully provided great elders, staff and ministry leaders, small group leaders and a stellar preaching line-up. Taking Sabbatical would be far more difficult without phenomenal people already in place. It’s going to be a great summer!
You are loved!
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