My sabbatical is finished and today is my first Sunday back preaching. Of course, it’s Labor Day weekend and no one will be there… which could help because after 5 weeks off I’m not sure how this will go!
The time away was needed. I was certainly more tired than I thought and the rest was helpful.
As I come back there are a couple of things that stand out for me:
1. What we are doing in our church is good. I had no burning bush experience where I came up with something radically new and different. We are seeing good things happen and the foundation is laid for good spiritual growth.
2. My love for the church (my own church and the Church universal) has deepened. My true call is to serve the Church. I am more settled in this than I have been for many years. One of the books I read was Under the Predictable Plant by Eugene Peterson. (A gift from Mark Stevens.) The book was timely. Peterson is one of the finest examples of a pastor one could ask for as a model for ministry. The book settled me in some thought I’ve already had for quite some time.
Where I pastor is home for me. I love my church and my city. This is a place where the Lord has called me to help people in their spiritual journey. It is a good place.
From here we will work to catch the rhythm of the Kingdom of God. As a Pentecostal, I will be thinking about working in some liturgical elements that just may not fit as a traditional Pentecostal. But they are elements key for the life of worship in the Church and having those elements creates a rhythm that will only build the Body of Christ. It will give us better opportunities to hear the voice of the Spirit.
It’s good to be home.