I’m going on sabbatical

My church has graciously allowed me to go on sabbatical from June 1- July 31, 2020. For the most part I plan to be off social media. Will the three of you who read my blog, Facebook and Twitter posts be able to get through life without my input? I suspect you will be just fine.

Sabbatical Plan for Michael Wallenmeyer

  • What is a sabbatical?
    • Day to day ministry is demanding and draining on the life of a pastor. You can go HERE to see some of the sobering statistics. As you look into the writing that is done about sabbaticals for pastors you will find some certain themes. The two primary purposes for a sabbatical is for spiritual renewal and physical rest.
    • Drexel Rankin defines a sabbatical like this: “A sabbatical typically includes time for travel, rest, prayer, and the broadening of one’s sense of God’s work in the world—a time to pause, step back, and behold God and creation from a new perspective. Nourishing one’s soul and discovering a new perspective calls for both a change of pace and a change of location. More intentional than simply taking a break, the sabbatical consists of more than just a vacation. This is a time for the pastor to distance self from the demands of leadership, to gain fresh vision and energy—a time to focus on comprehensive renewing and reequipping for long-term ministry. The sabbatical could also be a time when the whole congregation can reflect on its ministry together, perceive new goals, and accept new vision for the future.”
  • Dates of my sabbatical: June 1-August 1, 2020
    • The specific overall goals of my sabbatical will be:
      • To pursue God and to grow deeper spiritually
        • Accomplish this by daily reading of Scripture, select books, and prayer
        • I will determine, ahead of time, which books I will bring with me and read. I will share this list of books with the elders.
        • Ask God to reveal to me areas of sin and weakness. Seek to grow in these specific areas.
        • I will keep a journal to record what I am learning and also what I sense God is communicating to me. I want to begin journaling a couple weeks before I begin my sabbatical so I can track my progress.
        • I will ask a small group of people to be praying for me and my family the whole time I am on sabbatical. I will give them some ideas/suggestions regarding how they can pray.
      • To rest and renew
        • The time away will allow me mentally, emotionally and physically to recharge and return to ministry energized.
        • I plan on getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
        • I plan on exercising by going for walks.
      • To ask God to reveal to me how I can better lead and shepherd New Life Church
      • To come back to New Life Church with a detailed plan and outline for the next sermon series
      • To deepen my relationship with my wife and my children
        • Date nights and talks about how we are doing as a couple and as a family
      • To learn by attending other churches on Sunday mornings
        • Due to the fact that I preach on Sunday mornings I do not have the opportunity to see what other churches are doing. The sabbatical will give me the opportunity to watch and learn from other churches.
      • To have an elder call and check on me 1x per week. This will keep us mutually informed about how things are going.
      • To spend some time each week working on licensing and ordination within the EFCA
  • Some of the books I am taking with me: 
    • Redemptive Reversals and the Ironic Overturning of Human Wisdom: “The Ironic Patterns of Biblical Theology: How God Overturns Human Wisdom” (Short Studies in Biblical Theology) by Beale, Gregory K.
    • Immeasurable: Reflections on the Soul of Ministry in the Age of Church, Inc.
      by Jethani, Skye
    • True Spirituality by Schaeffer, Francis
    • Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer by Peterson, Eugene H.
    • Other books will be ordered and devoured

See you in August! If you think of it, say a prayer for me (and my family!)

8 thoughts on “I’m going on sabbatical”

  1. Holly and I are so thankful to have you as our pastor. Thank you for being such a caring shepherd. We will pray that the Holy Spirit will inspire you; that you will be refreshed, and be rejuvenated through the power of the Prince of Peace. We will lift Marcie and your children in prayer. And anxiously await your return.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. God bless you, Michael, with a fresh revelation of His love and grace for you. A recommendation: The Gospel in Chairs (a video on youtube by Brian Zahnd) that will encourage your soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pastor, I always take a long time to get to know people but I have so appreciated your love you show us, but more than that your honesty and yourself also. I will be praying for you and pray that you will be refreshed and renewed in your spirit. Will miss you but it’s important to let you go so you can come back excited and rested. I feel like sometimes we drag you down because we may not follow what you are teaching, and by the way, great messages. God Bless and take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pastor, Maurice & I have not been in the church very long, but we have so appreciated the friendliness of you & all the Congregation. Your sermons have been an inspiration and challenge for us to grow closer to God& we thank you for that. We will be praying for physical, mental and spiritual renewal for you during this time and also for your family. May God hold all of you in His loving arms and shield you, protect you, and bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

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