Some organizations and churches design sabbaticals to be a working sabbatical (eg., write a book, or a manual, further your education, etc.). First Baptist Church has designed my sabbatical to be for REST and REFRESHMENT. Ten years ago I believe it was this emphasis that helped me return with such energy and focus. It was in the context of resting that I received some clear direction from the Lord concerning our church. This time around, I am hoping for the same.
- We will do some travel (Minnesota to see my folks, Cannon Beach for a Conference, and I’m hoping I can work out a trip to Alaska as well.)
- I will be visiting a wide variety of churches each Sunday. This was extremely revealing during my last sabbatical. It really helped me see what things were lacking in the modern American church.
- I will be working with a couple of churches as a coach/mentor. I hope to visit two churches in a more meaningful way than just a casual spectator. I have been invited to offer some outside perspective for these churches, to which I am looking forward.
- I will be remodeling the playhouse in our back yard for the grandkids.
Will we hear from you?
Yes. I will be staying in the loop on happenings at First Baptist Church and I will be giving updates throughout the summer.
How is this sabbatical different from the first one?
The first sabbatical was more critical for my level of burnout. Today, I do not feel burnt out. I think this is primarily because God has put together such a competent staff at First Baptist who do such a good job in their areas of ministry. Therefore, I see this sabbatical being more about Bruce Young finishing strong. I do not want my life and ministry to go into pre-retirement mode. That is, a mode where you are just buying time until you retire, where you count down the years to a certain date. I want my last 10-15 years at First Baptist to be the most effective, most exciting, most radical of any of the previous decades. For this I need God’s vision and viewpoint!
Should everyone just hold their breath until you return?
No. Nein. Nyet. Should we stop serving food at the Food Bank until Bruce returns? Should we stop supporting our missions? Or, which lost person should we not respond to because our Senior Pastor is on a summer sabbatical?
The fact is the church is YOU! Not me! So, during the months of my sabbatical, First Baptist Church needs you as much as it ever has—your ministry, your attendance, and your giving.
The vision and calling of First Baptist Church (Ordinary people moving together toward extraordinary life change through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ) cannot, and should not, be paused because of my sabbatical.