Pastor’s Thoughts – July 2017

Dear friends,

By the time you read this I will have embarked on my sabbatical. All BUGB ministers are entitled to 13 weeks sabbatical every (surprise, surprise) seven years. For a variety of reasons I am only taking 10 weeks this year and will be holding over three weeks for next year.

The idea of a sabbatical is to enable ministers to unwind, refresh and often to do something that they would not be able to do otherwise. I’m not going to be doing anything too exotic apart from taking a trip to the Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago.

Most of my time will be spent reading and trying to recharge my batteries. Having spoken recently about cultivating a healthy soul, a large part of what I need to do is to make sure that what I encourage others to do I am doing myself! Much of the reading that I will be undertaking will help me to think through some of the challenges that we face moving forward.

So I would value you prayers while I am away:

  • That I will be able to wind down and spend time in the Lord’s presence
  • That I will clearly hear what the Lord wants to say to me during this time
  • For Steph during the time that I will be away in August
  • For an ability to step back and gain deeper discernment into the life of the church as we go forward

I will be back in a couple of weeks’ time for Abbie and Ben’s wedding. I will also return if there are developments in our search for an Associate Minister. Meanwhile, if there are things that you would normally speak to me about then can I suggest that you speak to Martin or Simon if it is a spiritual matter and Jo Moore if it is anything ‘operational’ (i.e. to do with services or anything that you will need from me in the Autumn).

We have some very good speakers lined up to occupy the pulpit in my absence so I believe that you will be blessed, encouraged and challenged.

There’s one more thing I need to mention to you which I introduced on Sunday: The Luke 10 Challenge!

The Community Day in May was a great opportunity to put PEG into action. How do we follow it up?

In Luke 10 Jesus sent out 72 disciples in pairs to go ahead and preach about the kingdom of God. Your Luke 10 Challenge is this: over the summer months look for some way of doing something with a neighbour, friend or family member that will show them the kingdom of God. You don’t have to preach to them but you do have to spend time with them. Pair up with someone else; do something together with your life group; have a barbecue; organise a cream tea; get together for an outing; clear up something in your neighbourhood; the ideas are limitless.

In September we will be celebrating the Big Welcome. There will be an event on Saturday 16 and a special service on Sunday 17. Aim to invite your friends to that.

See you in September,
John