Sun, Feb 14, 2021
My apologies for missing the last couple weeks of ST. I have just had so many extra things going on that I haven’t been able to keep up. Relatively short ST today. Just a few quick and important announcements.
Spacing of Seating in Worship – First, quick, friendly reminder that, for a little while longer, we need your help in keeping 2 chairs between each group/family. (If you’re reading this during worship and you’re sitting right next to someone, don’t sweat it! Just try to help us by remembering next time.) ;o) Second, at Greeneville, we’ve rejiggered chairs again by removing a row to ensure plenty of space between each row. Also, if you’re regularly a 2nd service attender, it would help us if you came to the 8:45a service to create more capacity at 10a, especially as people continue trickling back from Covid.
Brown Bags & Bibles and Coffee Convos News
- This past Tue, Feb 9, Mark Liebert and I began a 2-week series on the important biblical doctrine of “Justification,” which means “right legal standing before God.” This is a great complement to our Galatians sermon series. We’re working through chapter 36 in Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology (which, btw, you can purchase in The Hub, (at least the 1st edition.) If you’re buying one elsewhere, buy the new 2nd edition.)
- This past Wed, Feb 10, we chatted with our own Kendra Hinkle, Connections Director, on Coffee Convos, so check that out on the “Watch” tab on our app.
- After this coming BB&B on Tue, Feb 16, when we’ll cover part 2 of “Justification,” we’ll be taking a break from both Brown Bags & Bibles and Coffee Convos until after my sabbatical (see below.)
30-Day Sabbatical and a Week of Vacation from Mon, Feb 15–Sun, Mar 21 – The Elders have directed me to take a 30-day sabbatical as soon as possible. Very long story absurdly short, after 18 years of overworking and underresting, neglect of family and personal relationships, Covid making for a really tough year, and constant failure in every category of my life, I’m tired and empty–totally fried. I’ve been to real clinical burnout twice before (long-term physical and emotional exhaustion, I-can’t-do-one-more-thing apathy, panic attacks, spontaneous tears, psychiatrists, meds, counseling, the whole 9), and I can feel myself beginning to unravel. I need a break. And no, there is no “moral failure,” as it’s typically defined, that is motivating this other than overwork and years of failing to strongly maintain healthy personal boundaries. I’m just long-term exhausted, and I need a break.
In practical terms…
- Brown Bags & Bibles, Coffee Convos, and Mon Eve Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary Help (MECBTSH, for short), are canceled (though this Tue’s BB&B is still on. Plus, I’ve got a follow-up msg for you CBTSers in the next day or so that will help clarify things for most of y’all.)
- We’ve got preachers lined up: Mark Liebert, Chris Oakes, Tommy Staggs, Tyson Hodge, and Wesley News.
- For things you would normally want from me, just see Tommy, Tyson, a Staffer, or an Elder (Chuck Bowlin, Carl DelSorbo, John Hamilton, Mark Liebert, Bill Richards, Mike Schubert.) For the sake of my fragile psyche, could you please overwhelm them all while I’m gone? (Actually, they will all likely say, “Yeah, that was easy, you big loser.”) :o)
- Because a sabbatical is not meant to be just a break or vacation but intentional rest and refreshment in God and other people/habits that build in instead of taking out, the basic plan is to hang out with my family, rest, read, pray, think, write, watch some soccer, do some school, and catch up on some old school Christian music of my youth like Steve Camp, Keith Green, and Russ Taff. I’m working on a couple of road trips to visit a few churches, do some multisite R & D and planning, visit some old friends, check out Cov Bapt Theo Sem (where I’ve been doing Seminary 2.0 online for the last year-and-a-half), and to throw in a few family surprises. So, you’ll hear nothing from me for about a month. (“Yes!” Indeed, count your blessings. I wish I heard nothing from me.) Upon return (30-day sabbatical plus 1-week of vacation), I’ll be giving a full report in the next ST, about 5-6 weeks from now.
Special thanks to the Elders for seeing the need for a sabbatical. The egregious majority of businesses and churches simply chew up and spit out their people. I’m grateful for Elders who are careful to help protect ours. Special thanks to the Staff who will especially be picking up my (obviously huge) slack. (Actually, I suspect the Staff could use a break from me!) And thank you to all of you amazing FCCers who are sold-out to a biblical vision of producing disciples. The world’s got enough consumers; thanks for being all-in to build God’s Kingdom here in Greene County!