"He refreshes my soul." Psalm 23:3
I'm a pastor. My week, according to some is sitting around reading a Bible and then coming up with something to say for 20-30 minutes on Sunday to get people to behave.
I recently went through a little exercise with our C3 Resident processing all the hats a church planter wears in the first years of the church.
It encompasses everything from
CEO, Vision caster, Vision protector, Vision champion, CFO, fundraiser, counselor, pastor, leader of leaders, lead evangelist, one who models the way with predictable patterns of Up, In and Out, host, teacher, preacher, website overseer, social media strategist, pre-marital counselor, post-marital counselor, hirer and firer, discipler, fireman (always going to be some kind of fire to put out), systems and logistics overseer, venue search team leader, liaison between church and the city, custodian, first one there, last one to leave. And all this is with people who are essentially volunteers, who could abandon ship, seek greener pastures, be relocated because of career in a heartbeat.
And the national average for success rates in church planting is about 1 in every 2, still with open doors 5 years into the process. The infant mortality rate of baby churches is significant.
It's a grind. An absolute blast...but undoubtedly a grind.
Shaina and I have been on the ground In Columbus since 2012. We've watched loved ones die, the miracle of a dead heart beating again, the family addition of a little guy who is still not convinced he can trust our love because his previous track record has had trust sabotaged every step of the way.
And I'm tired. Not in a give up and throw in the towel kind of way, but in a "this isn't sustainable to keep going this way" kind of way.
My management team (think elders) has graciously understood this weariness and the need to recalibrate and revitalize. They granted me a 6 week sabbatical. Rest. Taking my hats off and staying awhile. They gifted Shaina and I a trip to Blessings Ranch (a place that pastors pastors) and have embraced the idea that in order for me to run the race for the long haul, I have to take strategic pit stops.
So July 1-August 15 I am out. Off of social media. Off my phone. Off my email. Hats off.
It's a win-win-win. C3 gets a better version of me on the other side of this break. Shaina and I get a window to catch our breath and figure out how to be a family of four with a couple of kids from hard places. And the C3 Resident gets to lead everything for 6 weeks to get his feet wet on leading the day to day operations of a church plant.
I would appreciate your prayers. For vitality. For rest. For restoration. For vision. For the land to produce a greater harvest because it had a chance to rest.
I believe it with all my heart: Change starts here.