In September of 2011 I finished up working in the Diocese of Broken Bay as a Diocesan Youth Ministry Coordinator, basically a Ministry Consultant to 30 churches. Whilst I loved the job, my family and I were moving from Sydney to Melbourne so that my wife could take a promotion. After almost 16 years in full time ministry it was time for me to take a break. In fact it was the first time in almost 22 years that I wasn’t doing any ministry outside my family, not even a small volunteer role in a ministry.
It was important for me to take the opportunity to “revive my dropping spirit”. It was also important for me to spend some time as a dad helping my boys settle into their new schools and anew city. So I didn’t want to do the usual academic sabbatical where there is a structured program but I also didn’t want to do nothing either. It was important for me to call this time a “sabbatical” so that I would give these four months the importance they deserved.
Over the past four months I have needed to waste some time, I needed to have the afternoon siesta or watch too much TV. But I have also been listening very carefully to God. During the last project I was doing inSydneyI heard God say “don’t worry about what is next because I will tell you in Melbourne.” Now that I was in Melbourne I wanted to explore everything that God had in store for me.
Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting more of my learning’s from my sabbatical, you can read Part One here. Whilst my sabbatical has not been as structured as an academic sabbatical, it has been four months where I have been intentional about listening to God. Perhaps you won’t get a chance to have your own sabbatical anytime soon so you might pick up something for your leadership position or your ministry from my experience.
Please leave a comment, especially if you would like to know specific about my sabbatical that I could write in a future post.