2 weeks ago, Pastor Matt shared his perspective on his upcoming sabbatical. He answered these three questions: Why a sabbatical? How is he and his family doing? What will he do during his sabbatical? This week, Pastor Ben would like to add to the conversation by looking at the sabbatical from the church’s perspective.
As we get closer to Pastor Matt’s sabbatical, I can say without hesitation that I’m thrilled for the Herron’s and this road of intentional rest that they’re planning to walk. I am absolutely for the sabbatical, and I am absolutely for Pastor Matt and his family taking one at this time. I am so excited to see how God is going to grow and encourage and lead and minister to the Herron’s over their two months away!
That being said, if I’m honest (which, according to my mom, is always the best policy) the idea of Pastor Matt being away for two whole months can feel a bit…scary. Maybe you’ve wrestled with some of the same emotions, and asked some of the same questions: What happens if something goes wrong? Is the church going to “feel” the same while he’s gone? Are there things that will slip through the proverbial cracks? What if…and you can fill in the blank with whatever potential scenario comes to mind.
As I’ve asked some of these questions, and as I’ve wrestled through some of these fears, I’ve come to this conclusion: yes, God is going to work in Pastor Matt’s life during this sabbatical, but he’s also going to work in our lives. We believe that God, over the course of this sabbatical, has things he wants Matt and his family to hear, to learn, to wrestle with, and to rest in. But God also has things for Sojourn Church to hear, to learn, to wrestle with, and to rest in!
So as we get ready to enter this sabbatical period (less than a month away!), let’s rejoice with the Herron’s and pray for the Herron’s, but lets also acknowledge and embrace the fact that we’re in for some learning and growing this summer as well. First and foremost, we’re being invited into the same lesson Matt and his family is being invited into, only from a different perspective: can we intentionally lay down our work and trust God to provide? More pointedly for us: can we release our lead pastor for two months and trust God to not only take care of Sojourn, but to make us flourish? As Matt and his family are invited into a journey of listening and trusting, so we are as well.
Lest I make this sound too scary, let me encourage you: we’ve got a pretty fantastic team of folks who pour themselves out week to week for our flourishing, and it's all hands on deck this summer. We’re committed to the same gospel representation week in and week out, and that’s not going to change. We’ve got a great crew of speakers who will be helping us see the gospel worked out practically in the book of Proverbs, and you’re not going to want to miss a single Sunday if you can help it.
And finally…wait for it…we’ve got you, the body, and we’ve got Christ, the head. God is building his church here at Sojourn one person at a time, one family at a time, connecting us together with Christ as our head – our Senior Pastor, if you will. The Apostle Paul outlines this clearly in Ephesians 4:
“We are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
In conclusion: we will miss Pastor Matt and his family. We will feel their absence deeply. We will absolutely love it when they come back in September. But we will be okay. More than okay, we’ll be right where God wants us: trusting God’s leading, receiving his good gifts, caring for one another, and pursuing our mission of making more and better disciples of Jesus Christ.