Pastor Josh on Sabbatical
1 The LORD spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, 2 “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land that I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the LORD. 3 For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD. Leviticus 25
The word Sabbath literally means, “to cease.” It is a rest from work. God’s instruction to Israel was that every seven years, the people were to take an extended time to rest and celebrate. A “sabbatical” is an application of the biblical principle of rest.
A sabbatical is not a vacation. It is a time set aside to disengage from normal ministry and leadership involvement and intentionally focus on rest, renewal, and rebirth. Rest includes giving our bodies and minds a chance to relax and detox from stress. It also consists of doing activities we enjoy, investing in projects that energize us. Renewal involves connecting with God — not for the sake of ministry, but for the pleasure of enjoying God and his creation. It involves drawing closer to our families. It includes giving time to seriously evaluate our life and ministry and listen to God. Rebirth encompasses reengaging in the mission Christ has called us to.
Frontline church began seven years ago in Josh and Nancy Kouri’s living room. From the beginning it was important for us to build a culture of responsible care to those we are reaching out to, our church family and those God has raised to be our leaders. Wisdom instructs us to practice “preventive care” when we have the opportunity. Part of responsible care is providing sabbaticals for our leaders.
As we move into our seventh year as a church, the elders are insisting that Josh and Nancy dedicate part of this summer to taking a six-week sabbatical during the months of June and July. It’s important to us and to the life of this church that they and their children experience rest, renewal and rebirth. For the six weeks they are gone, Frontline will continue in its mission to love God, love people and push back darkness.
Thank you for your support and helping us take care of our pastor and his family.
David Adair, Eric Guyer, Trey Teape, and Rex Barrett