I am blessed to serve a congregation whose leadership understands the value of the gift to a pastor of sabbatical. Sabbatical is common in the seventh year of practice in positions of leadership, most commonly in the fields of Ministry, Education, Law, and Medical practices.

A sabbatical is a time for the pastor to step out of the daily routine and experience a time of both rest and professional growth. Returning to his congregation, the pastor has a renewed and refreshed vigor with which to once again fully participate in the vision and ministry of the church.

I will be on sabbatical from June 29 through September 5, returning to the office on the 6th and preaching on the 8th.
During the time Janet and I are away from Victory, we will be able to spend extended time with our family and have unstructured time together and individually. If you would like to pray for us, or simply just know where we are, you can pick up Pastor Jim’s sabbatical schedule on the hall ministry table. A couple of highlights include:

• Taking an intentional personal retreat asking God for renewed vision for Victory and continue a work in my heart for you and the ministry.
• Taking classes through Trinity Evangelical Divinity Doctoral Program through the Xenos Summer Institute on Developing Discipleship.
• A time of fishing and outdoor time with my son and friends.
• Extended vacation time and visits with our family

During my absence, Victory is blessed to have our Elders, guest speakers, and members of our congregation speak into your lives. A copy of the speakers scheduled is on the Ministry table in the hallway. Pastor Adam, with assistance from the Elders and our Ministry Coordinators, Nancy Dupre and Deb Harris will provide for administration at Victory.

Our Elders will provide pastoral care through our Shepherding Groups and I encourage you to engage with them as they will also be seeking to know you and your spiritual needs in a more intimate way.

Sabbaticals are also a time for congregational renewal and refreshment. It might sound funny to suggest you can grow during this time by taking a break from your regular pastor and teaching leader. However, I encourage you to devote yourselves to a time of spiritual renewal and prayer this summer for yourselves as you pray for me.

Wonderful resources are available in three books I highly recommend: Soul Keeping by John Ortberg; Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald, and With by Sky Jethani. You can find these on the hall ministry table for a small cost.

I expect all of us to emerge from this time refreshed and reenergized in our commitment to God’s vision for Victory. I am looking forward to this time and anticipate that you will grow and benefit from it as much as I will.

Thank you for your support of sabbatical and your continued support of ministries at VCF. May God grow in each of us an increased commitment to the work and mission of Victory. I believe the most exciting and fruitful years for our shared ministry together are ahead of us.