Friday, March 07, 2008
John Kegarise, chairman of our Elder Board here at Grace Church, came to me at the beginning of the year and talked to me about my need to be safeguarding myself so that I do not burn out so that I can continue to lead our ministry for years to come. As a result, the Elder Board granted me 6 weeks each calendar year that they call “Enrichment Weeks.” These weeks are not vacation but rather are to be used as weeks in which I am not involved in the regular schedule, appointments and meetings of my weekly ministry. Rather, I am to use these weeks to do only those things which enrich me spiritually.
At first I wasn’t real sure about this but after using this past week as an Enrichment Week, I am very refreshed and thankful. I can’t tell you the last time when I did not have one meeting or appointment on my schedule for a full week and found myself at home each and every evening and actually got 8 hours of sleep every night. So what did I do during my first ever Enrichment Week? Here’s a partial review:
My goal was to read through the entire New Testament in 7 days. As I write this I have 3 days left and have been reading 50 chapters each day and have already read through 200 chapters with a little over 60 remaining. I’ve never read that much Scripture in such a short time-period. It was amazing the things that stuck out to me that had never stuck out to me before. One of the things that I did discover, though, is that there are very few “quiet” places around anymore where you can read without interruption. Even the library was surprisingly “unquiet”. I did find, however, that the little café in the Giant Store in Kissel Hill is a wonderful place to work away from the office with free wireless internet and some pretty good coffee.
I was able to spend time in ministry with a couple of families. The father of a lady in our church passed away Monday morning. I had led him to the Lord months earlier. I was able to spend some time with the family at the hospital Sunday afternoon and then again early Monday morning shortly after he passed away. I will be participating in the funeral this Saturday. Laura and I were also able to spend time with a man within our church who is quickly deteriorating due to his battle with cancer. We had a wonderful visit with him and his precious wife on Tuesday evening. This is a part of ministry that I have had to largely delegate due to the size of our church so it was very enriching for me to be able to spend this time with these families.
I was able to spend quality time working on a thorough Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet regarding the launch of a small group ministry here at Grace Church and about our search for a Pastor of Connections. I will be mailing this FAQ sheet out to our church family at the beginning of April with my quarterly stewardship letter.
I was able to listen to some wonderful sermon tapes in preparation for our “WOW: World Of Wonder” message series on heaven that will begin Easter Sunday and run for three weeks.
I was also able to spend some quality time on the phone talking to my sister in TN and my parents in FL; having lunch with different staff members; taking my dog for a long walk; reading to some of the Elementary classes here at Lititz Christian School, and working on a special project that I will blog more about next week.