Ministry Journey Blog

Thoughts on Ministry

16 Aug

Sabbatical Reflections Part 1

Posted in Uncategorized on 16.08.19 by Merlyn

This summer, I had a 9 week sabbatical. Actually, it was technically 6 weeks with 2 weeks continuing ed and 1 week vacation. Nonetheless, I thought it helpful, if only for myself, to take some time to reflect on both my sabbatical and return on this blog.

What I Realized on Sabbatical Part 1

One of my first and most significant realizations was that I need to be less emotionally invested in my ministry, in my full time work. That doesn’t mean I should not care or be emotionally invested at all. It does mean, that while my identity is not rooted in ministry, I am too emotionally invested in the challenges, outcomes and drama in my full time ministry call. While I can separate on vacation and sabbatical, I recognized a need to separate some each evening in order to recharge and give my full self at home. While I have worked hard to have good boundaries with my family and spend meaningful time with my kids, I recognized I needed to think less about work at home to give more emotionally to my family.

What I Realized returning from Sabbatical Part 1

Returning was not easy and I knew that would be the case. I also knew that if I came back to negativity instead of positivity, it would be especially difficult. Good leaders work themselves out of a job. Good leaders lead in a way that if they get hit by a bus, there is sadness, but life goes on. Good leaders lead in a way where when they are gone, things can function but they are missed enough to know they are needed.

The most important lesson that I learned in my return is the leadership matters. We underestimate the value of leadership not just in terms of the daily function, but also in terms of vision and managing conflict. While others are capable of leading we lead best when we lead together. Leadership matters. Its easy in the church to get caught up in the joys or challenges of the moment and not gain a perspective on the bigger picture. One of the first things I needed to do upon my return was paint a picture of the bigger picture, especially in this season of staff transition in the church I serve.

That may seem like a lot, but it also feels like the tip of the iceberg as I continue to reflect on sabbatical and adjust to my return. More next month!

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