Thoughts From Week 3 of My Sabbatical
The past three weeks have been incredible. It’s amazing how clearly I start thinking when I actually slow down. The image above is our view each night at sunset, so it has been easy to relax and soak in the beauty of God’s creation.
The first week, we spent most of our time at the Fiddler’s Convention in Galax and with friends. The second week was spent working around the house and cleaning up. The third week has been spent at the beach, enjoying time with the family. And now, as we enter into the last week, my mind has started shifting back into thinking about the church and our future. I want to create a rhythm of life that is more sustainable and that I want to use what I have learned through these last few weeks.
What I love most about the extended time of rest is the chance to read and reflect. I have read a number of books and I have spent time in God’s Word, and I am regaining a love for learning and growing. (If I have this much time to read every month, I would definitely go broke spending money at Amazon!) I ask for your continued prayers for me and my family as we take this time to connect and grow.
Here’s a quick rundown of my reading last for the last three weeks. I still have a stack of books I’m hoping to finish this week.
- 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life – 5 stars – The current sermon series at Cornerstone. A great book on rhythm and rest.
- Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul – 5 stars – The best and most practical book I have read on how to stay healthy in ministry
- People-Pleasing Pastors: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Approval-Motivated Leadership – 4 stars – An important book for all pastors to read, but it is a research book that should have been much shorter
- Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem – 5 stars – A really great book about slowing down. The chapter on parenting is awesome!
- Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series) – 4 stars – A business and leadership book about creating a routine. Good practical info that I plan on using when I get back.
- YouTube For Churches: How to Make Better Videos, Grow Your Church and Reach More People with YouTube – 4 stars – A short book about creating a strategy for social media and utilizing Youtube as your primary video sharing service
- The Blessed Church: The Simple Secret to Growing the Church You Love – 3 stars – Not my favorite book by Robert Morris, but it still contains some useful information.
- Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local – and Helped Save an American Town – 5 stars – A great book about the history of our small city
- Rethinking the Church: A Challenge to Creative Redesign in an Age of Transition – 5 stars – A good book about the structure, mission, and vision of the church
- Engage: A Guide to Creating Life-Transforming Worship Services – 4 stars – This is a practical book explaining the importance of long-term sermon and worship service planning
- Galatians For You (God’s Word For You) – 5 stars – A great commentary book I am using as I prepare to preach through Galatians when I get back in September