A WORD FROM OUR ELDERS…
Dear People of Christ’s Church,
It’s Kevin and I just wanted to take a moment and encourage our flock. As you know, this summer Pastor Scott will be taking a very well deserved break. Actually he will be taking a “sabbatical” with his wonderful family. A sabbatical is simply a time of scheduled rest, restoration, or to restore. Another familiar form of that word is “Sabbath”, which is simply a break, or to rest. It’s literally defined as any extended period of leave from one’s customary work, especially for rest, to acquire new skills or training, etc. I promise that if you get the opportunity to take a sabbatical, you will love and appreciate the renewed vision and strength as you return. And, as you know it’s a biblical philosophy. God Himself rested from “His work” after the creation (Gen 2:2-3), the priests (Levites) took scheduled sabbaticals from their priestly duties, and Jesus Himself told His disciples to find time to rest, to find time for a sabbatical, (Mark 6:31). There is also examples of a sabbatical of the land (Lev 25:4) and from working the fields (farming), sabbaticals of debts and/or creditors to simply give it a rest, a break, and a release.
Ironically, there is a seven year history of a sabbatical. The elder’s desire was for Scott to have taken this sabbatical last year at his 7-year mark with Christ’s Church. However, because of being understaffed, he didn’t feel it would benefit the staff to leave them shorthanded. What a guy!! Well, now that we are well-staffed, it’s time. I want to encourage you to pray for our Lead Pastor often during this sabbatical. Pray that he will enjoy this well-deserved break. Pray that he would grow from this time and be nudged by God. Our flock (church) will be rewarded by his re-charge as well. I have personally seen Christ’s Church grow from 75 to well over 1,300 in the past 8 years under Scott’s leadership. He’s led us through 3 capital campaigns, 2 building projects, numerous staff hires and fires. And, the biggest thing is that he continually encourages us through some awesome sermon series that challenge us and lead us deeper in love with our Savior Jesus Christ. That certainly doesn’t mean he has to take a sabbatical. But your elders have encouraged this not just with Pastor Scott, but with our Associate Pastors as well. And personally, I’m excited that during this time, we’ll have several weeks to hear from Pastor Matt and Pastor Allison. Gotta love that!!!
We’re here to love on you, and to help you love others to Christ,,
Your Christ’s Church Elders (Kevin Lang, Spencer Wallace, Jonathan Kriner)
I gotta tell ya, the past 8 years have been a whirlwind. If you’ve been around Christ’s Church for a while, you know what I’m talking about. When the founders first kicked off this new vision for Camden County, no one ever dreamed of a church that would bust 1,000. Not in a small community like ours. Evidently, God had much greater plans!
When I first arrived in Camden in January 2009, there was already great momentum. This small community of believers had grown from the 4 founding couples to now averaging about 75 per week. That was in less than 2 years. To put that in perspective, the average church throughout America runs less than 80 people. Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back, we can now see how extraordinary our God really is.
Please know that there is absolutely nothing wrong. (Please read that again.) When we don’t know all of the details, our natural tendency is to fill in the blanks with our own beliefs. I am not taking this sabbatical because of anything negative. However, for 8 years, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends… with a blow torch! I know if I continue pressing onward at this pace that I will hit a wall. My leadership will suffer. And that, in turn, will affect our staff, the entire church, and ultimately the Kingdom. Fortunately, I have NOT hit that wall. The reality is this, if a church doesn’t send their pastor on a sabbatical until he hits the proverbial wall, it’s too late when he does. We are being proactive because we want to be the best stewards of God’s church, our time, energy and emotions.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING…
I would respectfully ask for your prayers over the summer. This sabbatical will begin on June 19th after preaching on Father’s Day. I will be gone the rest of June and the entire month of July. I’ll be honest, I feel bittersweet about it. While I am really looking forward to the time away and the opportunity to connect with God in a very intimate way, I know I will sincerely miss Christ’s Church!
You may be wondering what we have planned? My first day, I’ll be in Daytona for a pastoral coaching network. We’ll be in Kansas City the last week of June for the North American Christian Convention. Then Amanda and I will be going on a trip, not only for this sabbatical, but also to celebrate 20 years of marriage. We’ll be flying to Zurich, Switzerland to visit some of her family for a few days. Then we head to Rome, Italy, and finally on a cruise of the Greek Isles. (Please know that the church is not paying for this trip. I feel kind of weird clarifying that. But, we all know there will be people who make the assumption that their offerings paid for our trip. We’ve been saving our pennies for a long, long time to make this trip become a reality.) I will be back in the office on Tuesday, August 1st, ready for an amazing fall.
WHO WILL BE IN CHARGE…
Well, ultimately our elders are always in charge. But, our associate pastors are ready to take the lead. One of our values at Christ’s Church is training up and empowering the next generation. That is exactly the opportunity they have throughout this sabbatical. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love and admire our associate pastors. As for Sunday mornings, Pastor Matt and Pastor Allison will be sharing that load. They’ll be wrapping up the “5 Ways To Wreck Your Life” series and then taking you into the “God At The Movies” series.
We’ve never had a sabbatical “policy” at Christ’s Church Camden, so we want to be proactive in helping our people understand the depth behind why it is so necessary. If you’d like to read more about it, we’ve provided some links below.
Be Blessed, Pastor Scott
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SABBATICALS…
Sabbatical Booklet – This is a PDF file that you will download. Lots of information and probably more than you care to know, but really good stuff!