Pastor David's Sabbatical
On January 9, I begin a sabbatical break from my active duties as pastor. I am extremely grateful to our elders for offering me this opportunity to devote time to rest, prayer, and spiritual renewal.
For those interested in what I will be doing, here is some information.
I intend to devote my time primarily to seeking the Lord in prayer. I’m indebted to coaching advice from Roy Yanke (PIR Ministries) and to Pete Scazzero’s book, “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality”, for setting me on this trajectory. They both emphasize the importance of slowing down.
For part of my sabbatical, I will be out of town. I’ve scheduled a 2-week stay in a guest house for ministry leaders in Ohio. (I was hoping for someplace warm, but you take what you can get.) My wife and I are also hoping to spend time at a retreat center that provides guided pastoral care for couples in ministry. If I can, I will work in a couple of other short trips.
While in Queens, I will probably be taking long walks and looking for other creative ways to experience solitude in a city of 8 million. I look forward to worshiping with brothers and sisters in a variety of churches and to being fed as I listen to other pastors preach the Word.
I’ll have a couple of enjoyable pastoral duties to deal with during my sabbatical, but other than those this is time devoted to renewal. The plan is for me to be back at ACC on Palm Sunday.
I am very appreciative of our Associate Pastor Jeffrey Choi, who will be taking over a lot of extra responsibilities while I am gone. I am confident the members of ACC will step up to help with some of his work so that he is not overburdened.
I’ve emailed a bunch of friends and colleagues in ministry to ask them to recommend a couple of good books on prayer or spiritual renewal. I won’t attempt to read all these books, but I will select a few that look helpful and spend time with them. In case your interested in what people have suggested, here is the list so far:
“The Whole Christ” (Sinclair Ferguson)
“A Life of Prayer” (Paul Cedar)
“Prayer” (Richard J. Foster)
“The Adversary” (Mark I. Brubeck)
“This Day We Fight” (Francis Frangipane)
“Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship (Kenneth Boa)
“Prayers that Avail Much” (Germaine Copeland)
“One Divine Moment: The Asbury Revival” (Robert E. Coleman)
“Oswald Chambers: Abandoned to God” (David McCasland)
“The Ignatian Adventure” (Kevin O’Brien)
“With Christ in the School of Prayer” (Andrew Murray)
“Abide in Christ” (Andrew Murray)
“Golden Book of the Christian Life” (John Calvin)
“One Thing” (Sam Storms)
“Signs of the Spirit” (Sam Storms)
“With” (Skye Jethani)
“Love Does” (Bob Goff)
“Moving Mountains” (Paul L. King)
“George Muller – Man of Faith and Miracles” (Basil Miller)
“Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” (Jim Cymbala)
“Victory Over the Darkness” (Neil Anderson)
“A Tale of Three Kings” (Eugene Edwards)
“A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” (Phillip Keller)
“Dynamics of Spiritual Life” (Richard Lovelace)
“A Praying Life” (Paul Miller)
“The Reformed Pastor” (Richard Baxter)
“The Contemplative Pastor” (Eugene Peterson)
“Eat this Book” (Eugene Peterson)
“Team of Rivals” (Doris Kearns Goodwin)
“The Work of the Pastor” (William Still)
“Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition” (Andrew Purves)
“Prayer – Experiencing Intimacy with God” (Timothy Keller)
“Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering (Timothy Keller)
“Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ” (John Piper)
“A Resilient Life” (Gordon MacDonald)
“Hunger for the Holy” (Neil B. Wiseman)
“In the Grip of Grace” (Max Lucado)
“The Divine Conspiracy” (Dallas Willard)