Pastoral Sabbatical Questions? – Answered

Our Pastor’s Sabbatical, Summer 2018


I. What are Chuckk and Andrea’s Sabbatical Dates:

A.    June 11 – September 4th, 2018

II. What Are the Primary Purposes & Objectives of This Sabbatical?

The primary purpose of Sabbatical is to cease current ministry tasks and duties and to refocus the time on personal spiritual renewal, rest, reconnection with Jesus and ministry refocus.
A.    Renewal
1. Sabbatical will be a time of intense focus on the spiritual disciplines with large amounts of time dedicated to uninterrupted time alone with Jesus personally to find a new level of spiritual freshness.
2. Sabbatical is ”ceasing”. I will take times rest – as Jesus called his disciples to. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” -Mark 6:31
a) I will be seeking the Good Shepherd to “lead me beside still waters” Psalm. 23
3. One objective of this sabbatical is to refresh, renew, and reenergize a pastor from the unique demands of shepherding that tend to wear pastors out.
B. Retreat
1. “Solitary Refinement”: I will be spending large blocks of time in silence, solitude and prayer. I will be fasting at times and probably journaling.
2. I will be studying Scripture and other Christian books throughout.
3. Retreat Centers:
a) I will be staying at The En Gedi Retreat Center in Colorado, and The Ministry Haven Retreat Center in Colorado at times during the sabbatical.
C. Refreshment (life-giving, battery-recharging, re-creation)
1. Current plans include a motorcycle journey with Allen Coleman.
2. I will do some fishing in Colorado.
3. I have calendared a week away with Andrea to be together.
D.  Reflection
1. A pastor’s a primary work is to connect deeply and fully with Jesus; to be filled with his Spirit and to gather His direction for the ministry and life. This gets lost in the daily duties of ministry and life. Sabbatical is a time of refocusing on the greater task with Jesus.
2. I will be spending large blocks of time in silence, solitude, and prayer.
3. Evaluation: Some Key Targeted Areas of Evaluation:
a) My personal Inner life: character, wisdom, integrity, joy, peace, faith, personal spiritual temperature, personal devotional life etc.
b) My Ministry life, leadership, shepherding, teaching etc: accomplishments, weaknesses, strengths, and failings.
c) Our Ministry effectiveness as defined by our Elevation core values.
d) My Marriage.
e) My parenting / family life.
f) My friendship depth.
g) Our retirement and aging plans.
4. Andrea and I will be evaluating and working together throughout the sabbatical as a couple.
E. Revisioning and Refining
1. Explore next steps for Elevation in key areas including:
a) Local, regional, and global mission, worship services, care for the poor, prayer ministry, church planted, discipleship, numeric, and spiritual growth.
2. Calendaring Action Items from the evaluation process throughout the sabbatical.
3.  Set the upcoming year’s goals for ministry.
4.  Discern the next teaching series for 2018 – 2019.
5. Note: Even though this sabbatical is primarily focused on pastoral renewal and not an academic sabbatical, I have a significant reading and study plan in place. These will also aid in Revisioning.

III. Chuckk’s Sabbatical Study and Reading Plan

A. I will complete a re-read and study of whole of Bible during the 12 weeks of sabbatical to gain a fresh current overview of the Scriptures as a collection of writings.
B. I will be reading / studying 5 new specifically curated Books.
C. I will be conducting a review of 10+ key important books that I have previously read: primarily on Scripture, various spiritual disciplines, leadership, and prayer
D.   As you can see a sabbatical isn’t a vacation. Andrea and I won’t be taking summer vacation this year to limit time away from Elevation.

IV. Who Is In Charge While Chuckk and Andrea are Away? : Leadership Contacts

A. Emergencies -The Elevation Board or Jeremy Unruh (as appropriate)
B. Day in the Park Events Host – Tiff Plante:
1.  Chuckk will host one on Sun. June 10. Tiff will host two (Sun. July 22 & Sun. Aug 19)
C. Mexico Mission ‘18- Mike Snyder:
D. Mission Commissioning The Moore’s – Mike Snyder:
E. Chuckk or Andrea Emergency (only) Contact = The Elevation Board:
F. Worship Services – Jeremy Unruh:
G. Staff Meetings (2x per month) – Tiff Plante:
H. Board / Staff Liaison – John Broersma: (a 1x visit to staff meeting per month)
I.  Children’s Ministry – Chris Gudnason:
J. Prayer – Tiff Plante:
K.  Youth Ministry – Justin Barron:
L.  Facility – John Broersma:
M. Signing of Staff Paychecks – Keith McCollum:
N. Hope Church Communication – Tiff Plante:
O. Technology – Jeremy Unruh:
P.  LifeGroups – John Broersma:
Q. Sunday Service Host – Jeremy Unruh:
R. Administrative Needs – Tiff Plante:
S. Environment – Tina Quaintence:
T. Communication with Guest Speakers – Tiff Plante:

V. Who Will Be Teaching ?

A. The Summer guest teacher series will be titled “Greatest Hits” and will have a vinyl record visual and promotional theme.
B. The concept with the “Greatest Hits” series is to have our guest teachers share the most powerful message or passage of Scripture God has used powerfully in their past to bless the Elevation Body.
C. Sabbatical Guest Teaching Calendar
1. June 17 Guest Teacher: Justin Barron
2. June 24 Worship Communion Morning – Leader: Jeremy Unruh
3. July 1 Guest Teacher: Phil Graf
4.  July 8 Guest Teacher: Andy Lewis
5. July 15 Guest Teacher: Steve Larson
6. July 22 Guest Teacher: Tyler Hurst
7. July 29 Special Mystery Teacher!
8. Aug 5 Worship Communion Morning– Leader: Jeremy Unruh
9. Aug 12 Guest Teacher: Allen Coleman
10. Aug 19 Guest Teacher: Ben Hartel
11. Aug 26 Guest Teacher: Jeremy Unruh
12. Sept 2 Guest Teacher: Allen Coleman

VI. How Does Sabbatical Benefit the Church?

A.  A more effective staff – the staff will have though greater opportunities in authority and decision-making roles without the pastor making many of the decisions.
B. Sabbatical opens new opportunities and needs for new people to join the ministry team and grow as a result since the pastor and his wife aren’t there to “fill the gaps”.
C. Sabbatical helps to decentralize the pastor and his wife and allow a growing and greater culture of team ministry. The Ephesian 4 principal!
D. The Church regains a pastor with restored passion, joy, drive and focus – these are common after Pastoral sabbatical. Greater ministry longevity and effectiveness is common after sabbatical. I will be spiritually refreshed and better able to lead and shepherd the body as Pastor.
E. I’ll return with fresh forward thinking, renewed clarified vision, and plans for the future. That bodes well for our church community and our ministry!
F. Got Questions, comments or ideas?
Shoot me a line before June 11