I am asked reasonable frequently how ministers can make best use of a sabbatical. A second question that almost always follows quickly on is how can they justify it to church members who never have a similar opportunity. The implication being that it is a luxury, a guilty pleasure that shouldn’t really be considered by those who work hard. Perhaps even an indication of laziness. “People in the church will tell me they don’t have that kind of paid leave so why should I?”
It isn’t uncommon for those who voice this concern to also indicate that they rarely have genuine sabbath in any form. There is a common temptation to use a time of sabbatical to try to compensate for not having had holy margins of leisure, rest, hope and joy in God for a number of previous years. Needless to say such sabbaticals rarely work well for encouraging the soul, marriage and family or for energising the next period of leadership. They are more commonly unstructured, used for col Read More
What percentage of people in your church have their own Bible? Most, I guess. Many own more than one. What percentage are reading them at home? Regularly - once a week, twice a week, every day? I guess a much lower percentage.
Living in a digital age is clearly having an effect on Bible reading. I don’t just mean having new devices on which it is possible to access and read the scriptures. I mean new devices that distract from reading them. Our new generation have never not had computers, gaming, multiple channels of distraction. They have so many inputs. They don’t need to retain any information because they can google it at any time. Read More
Bob the bootmaker finally graduated from boot-making school and boy could he make a lovely pair of boots. He went happily home to his family, waving his boot-making certificate.
"And guess what?" He asked his wife. And then, without waiting for her reply, "the principal called me in and told me that he's found me a leadership position at a great boot-making factory training all the other boot-makers."
His wife was overjoyed. "But it gets better still" Bob said. "They have a flat attached to the boot-making factory which we get rent-free as part of the salary package."
Within weeks Bob and his family were packed up, moved to the boot factory and happily settled in the new flat. (Being totally honest, it was a little too close to the factory and Bob's wife secretly wondered if it would mean he was never really off duty). Read More