A Letter About Sabbatical from Pastor Matt

Dear Church,                                                                                                                                                                    June, 2019

 

Thank you for the incredible blessing of being your pastor! It has been a good year and we believe the Holy Spirit has been directing us and leading us toward the mission and vision of the church in glorifying Jesus, loving others and making disciples. It is a good season, and that brings me to the reason I’m taking a sabbatical. Life moves in seasons and one area of growth for me (and for our church) is running at the pace, rhythms and rest God sets for us.

 

As I have shared with you, I will be taking a sabbatical beginning July 1. A sabbatical is not a vacation, though during that time our family will be taking a short vacation. A sabbatical is not for strategy-building, though I would expect the Lord to give some clear direction for my own life, family and the church. Let me briefly share what our collective thoughts are about taking a sabbatical.

 

RATIONALE

At the time of creation God rested on the seventh day. God has also set precedent for rest by commanding that every seventh day be a day of rest, a Sabbath day. Likewise, every seventh year for the nation of Israel was a Sabbath year, a time for rest and renewal. These Sabbath times provided for opportunities to renew, recreate and re-center their lives. In the ever-increasing pace we see in this world, one must discipline oneself to enter into Sabbatical periods.

 

The Elders of ReGeneration Church have decided it is a good thing to provide for its pastors to take a sabbatical leave so that they may return to the church with a renewed vision, new energy, and a greater effectiveness. Even secular companies, universities and organizations are recognizing the benefit of sabbaticals for refreshment, creativity and productivity. However, there are differences in what a sabbatical is for each university, church or company. For a more detailed explanation of a pastoral sabbatical, click on this link è https://www.soulshepherding.org/sabbatical-guide-pastors/

 

The three primary goals to be served by our sabbatical policy are:

 

Renewal: The sabbatical time is a time to step back from the continuous responsibilities of church work, to renew and replenish the reservoirs of creativity and spirituality, and to see refreshment and renewal through a change of environment and respite from routine. The serotonin levels in our brains, which produce an analgesic effect for recovery mentally and emotionally is replaced by adrenaline when it becomes depleted. It can only be recharged like a trickle charge to a dead car battery. You can't jump start it with one week of an incredible vacation like jump starting a battery. It takes a length of time that is continuous. A true sabbatical must have a continuous break for a good amount of time.

 

Reflection: The sabbatical time should also be a time of reflection. Through prayer and meditation participants should seek to refocus on God, and discern areas in their life where God is moving and changes may be necessary.

 

Relationship: It is our hope that the sabbatical will lead to a deeper relationship with Jesus that is not based on productivity, and function, but on identity in Christ. While this important for every Christian - the spiritual, emotional and physical health of a pastor affects the health of the church significantly. Our prayer is that sabbaticals lead to a refreshed recommitment to Jesus and ministry at ReGeneration, perhaps with a new direction born of reflection, and with new energy.

 

Readiness: Reading, meeting with a mentor or coach, taking a class or attending conferences may be a part of the Sabbatical to help the pastor continue to grow in pastoral competency and equipping. While this is not the primary reason for the sabbatical, these activities may be helpful for refreshment and continued growth.

 

ELIGIBILITY

All ordained full-time pastors are eligible to participate in the sabbatical program once every seven years. The sabbatical time is to be scheduled at the convenience of the church and the pastor.

 

LENGTH

Pastoral staff may take a sabbatical of up to ten consecutive weeks for every 7 years of full-time pastoral employment by the church. If the proposed sabbatical is for less than ten weeks, the unused number of weeks may not be accumulated and used after the sabbatical year.

 

SCHEDULING SABBATICAL TIME

Sabbaticals must be scheduled and approved at least six months in advance of the planned time-off. An eligible pastor must submit a written request to the ReGeneration Board of Elders for a sabbatical leave stating the preferred time period, the purpose, a proposal as to how his responsibilities will be covered during the absence, and the amount of any earned vacation time to be taken with the sabbatical.  

 

RETURN EXPECTATIONS

Pastors taking the sabbatical shall assure ReGeneration Church of continued service to the church for at least one full year from the conclusion of the sabbatical. The service shall be at the same level as was being provided prior to the start of the sabbatical.

 

REPORT ON RETURN

Upon completion of the sabbatical, the pastor taking the sabbatical shall provide a written report summarizing the sabbatical, and the degree to which the sabbatical goals were reached. This report shall be prepared within 30 days from the end of the sabbatical and presented to the ReGeneration Church Elders.

 

I’m praying that this sabbatical is not only healthy for me and my family, but for the church family as we hold on to the fact that Jesus is the Senior Pastor of the church and there are many who are gifted and called who will be able to do the work of the ministry. Thank you for your support and for your part in serving in the body of Christ.

 

Looking to Jesus,

Matt

P.S. The detailed plan for my time away is below.

PASTOR MATT'S SABBATICAL PLAN 2019

  • The Sabbatical will be a time of rest, solitude, family time and seeking God for vision and direction for his personal life and church-wide spiritual health. It will be from July 1 – August 14. There are four areas of focus planned for this time:
  • Rest (Physical, Mental, and Spiritual)
  • Connection with Family
  • Educational Experience (Development)
  • Reflection / Visioneering (Direction)

 

What is the “chain of command” when the Lead Pastor is gone?

  • The goal will be to continue the ministry as though the senior pastor were here.
  • We will not be starting any new ministries or proposals outside of the normal scope of ministry that is decided before he goes on sabbatical.
  • Staff
  • Denise will be in charge of the day-to-day operations and administration.
  • Teresa will assist Denise with the operations and accounting/financial responsibilities.
  • Kenny will oversee the church’s website, social media, bulletin and newsletter.
  • Elders
  • The elders will be responsible for the primary teaching (along with guest teachers), discipleship, pastoral care and responding to emergencies that arise.
  • If needed, Pastor Matt will be accessible for emergencies on a designated number.

 

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEEDURES:

  • Church Office – 831-477-7777
  • Bulletin Announcements –  Kenny@theregenerationchurch.com (by Tuesday)
  • 9 am Prayer and Prayer Chain- denise@theregenerationchurch.com
  • Planning Center – Teresa Dettle orangeprincess618@yahoo.com
  • Sanctuary Environment (lights, temperature, lock up) – Daniel, TJ, Stu, Denise
  • Emergency contact – Pastor Tony (831) 970-9453
  • Care Team – Elders, DeAnna, Denise, Gary Utile, Kent Hardwick, Derek Rapolla
  • Check requests for ministry – Denise
  • LifeChurch Wednesdays – Tony@theregenerationchurch.com


Sunday Morning Teaching Schedule – James: Living Out Our Faith

MICHAEL WOODBURN 

7/7

James 1

BILL HOLDRIDGE

7/14

Topical  

TONY DETTLE

7/21

James 2

DANIEL OROZCO

7/28

James 3

JOHN BURKE

8/4

James 4

DEREK RAPOLLA

8/11

James 5

 

 Wednesday Evening LifeChurch  - “No Perfect People; One Perfect God”

  • 6 pm Dinner
  • 7 pm Teaching/ Testimonies

 

Our Mission

ReGeneration Church exists to cultivate a community of disciples who respond to the Gospel by growing in relationship with Jesus & intervening for Him. (Titus 3:4-7; Mt. 28:18-20; Eph. 4:11-16; Jn. 15:1-17; Mt. 25:35-40; Acts 2:40-47)

 

Our Values

SPIRITUAL - To be a church that is led by the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus and seek first the Kingdom of God.

(1 Cor. 2:13-16; Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:22-23; John 15:26-27; Titus 3:4-7; Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 12-14)

 

MISSIONAL - To be a church that is passionate about fulfilling the mission God has given us.

(Matt. 28:18-20; Luke 19:10; Micah 6:8; Matt. 5:13-16)

 

BIBLICAL - To be a church that is growing in the grace and truth of God’s word. (Ephesians 4:11-16; Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 5:39; 1 Tim. 3:15)

 

RELATIONAL – To be a growing community of disciples that provides fellowship, accountability, growth, support and friendship. (Heb. 10:24-25; Acts 2:42-47; 1 Cor. 12:25-27; 1 Cor. 1:10; John 13:35; 1 Peter 4:8-11; Matt. 28:18-20)

 

QUESTION FOR SELF-EXAMINATION: How am I participating in the mission and vision of the church by praying, giving, serving, and using my gifts and talents?

 

Ministry Flow Chart

While there is no “flow chart” in the Bible, there is an order in which Jesus, the Head of the Church directs us through the principles of the Word of God and by the leading of the Holy Spirit. The “flow”, comes from a Christ-focused ministry, and the foundational scriptures that lead to the mission and vision of ReGeneration Church.

 

Our Lead Pastor and Elders seek direction from the Holy Spirit to fulfill the mission He has called us to through prayer, the Word of God and how the Spirit is speaking to the church body. (Revelation 2-3) We believe God still speaks to and through His church to lead us. While we have a Lead Pastor, his responsibility is to discern God’s direction along with the other Elders and to be the primary teaching pastor. We see this biblical model in the book of Acts and in the epistles. We also emphasize the fact that all regenerated believers have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit who will speak to them through His word and lead them to be witnesses for Christ and exercise their spiritual gifts for the work of the ministry and edifying the body of Christ (Eph. 4) Prayer, pursuing humility, love and communication are vital in being unified in ministry.

 

Each ministry has an elder assigned to it for prayer, discipleship, accountability and support with making decisions, support and collaboration. When appointing leaders we want to be unified:

  • In doctrine 
  • In philosophy of ministry
  • In fellowship

 

Ministry Team

Leader

Elder

Meets

Sunday Morning Service

Matt

All

Sundays 10a

Sunday 9am Prayer

Matt

Matt

Sundays 9a

LifeGroups

Michael

Michael

M and F

LifeChurch

Tony

Tony

Various

Rooted

Matt

Matt

M until 11/12

Mens

Tony

Tony

4th Saturday

Womens

DeAnna

Matt

Thurs until 11/8

Childrens

Dayna/Denise

Matt

Sun and Wed

Family

TJ and Teresa

Ken

3rd Saturday

Legacy

Kim and Jerry-Rose

Ken

3rd Thurs

Thrive (High School)

Tim & Carly

Matt

Sun/Tues

Reach (Jr. High)

Aaron & Lydia

Matt

Sun/Tues

Gen One (Young Adults)

Daniel & Callie

Daniel

Sundays

Marriage

Gary & Kim

Michael

2nd Saturday

Hospitality

Teresa & TJ

Tony

Sundays

Ushers/Greeters

Teresa & TJ

Tony

Sundays/Weds?

Security

Cynthia Coahoran

Tony

Sun/Weds?

Worship

Josh Burson

Ken

Sundays

Sound

Ben Barber  

Ken

Sun/Wed

Audio Visual

“Stu” Stewart

Tony/Ken

Sun/Wed

Prayer Counselors

Tony

Tony

Sundays after

Administration/Planning

Denise/Matt

All

Tuesday-Friday

Accounting

Denise/Teresa

All

Tuesday-Friday

Social Media

Kenny Sahagun

Matt

Various

Website

Kenny Sahagun

Matt

T, W, F

Graphics

Kenny Sahagun

Matt

T, W, F

Bridge

Michael Woodburn

Michael

Once Per Quarter

Section Title

Type the content for this section here. This is just example text to show you what it will look like when you enter text content into this section. Your unique, authentic, and appropriate text will be filled into this section. Once you click into this section, you will see the filler text disappear, and you can begin typing your real content. We’ve simply put in filler text in this area.

Section Title

Type the content for this section here. This is just example text to show you what it will look like when you enter text content into this section. Your unique, authentic, and appropriate text will be filled into this section. Once you click into this section, you will see the filler text disappear, and you can begin typing your real content. We’ve simply put in filler text in this area.

Section Title

Type the content for this section here. This is just example text to show you what it will look like when you enter text content into this section. Your unique, authentic, and appropriate text will be filled into this section. Once you click into this section, you will see the filler text disappear, and you can begin typing your real content. We’ve simply put in filler text in this area.