“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them…” Acts 16:25
God has been at work in my life. Lots of pruning (ouch). Lots of prayer. Asking the Spirit to fill me with a holy joy that will sustain me through the ups and downs of everyday life. I love you guys and can’t wait to see you and preach on August2nd!
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!)