This is my last blog post for a while - as I am taking what is somewhat of a sabbatical. This is the first time I have ever done anything like this in the 21 years I have served on a church staff. I wrote "somewhat of a sabbatical", as sabbatical is supposed to happen every 7 years and is a time of total rest. This sabbatical is taking place once every 21 years and is partial rest. But this is a time period where I will be taking a 100% break from my role at Vintage Faith Church until June 24th. I posted what is happening on Sundays for the teaching in the worship gatherings while I am gone here.
For those who want to know what I will doing while on this break - during the first half I will be 100% disconnecting from blogs (reading or writing them), no Facebook, Twitter or email. This will be a time to reflect on life, God and this past season of ministry. I will be going to Hawaii and stay at my friends condo for 5 weeks and this is a time of just rest, praying, thinking, reading and being with family. The photo above is Becky and the girls at the beach by my friends condo from last time we were there. So that will be the same scene we shall be experiencing for the first several weeks of this break. I won't be bringing any church leadership books with me, but will be reading some books ranging from C.S. Lewis's ScrewTape Letters (thanks Andrew for the recommendation) to Ace Frehley's biography (the original guitar player for KISS) and some theology books I have been wanting to read, but haven't had time to. When we return back home from Hawaii, I will then have a week with Katie and Claire on my own while Becky goes off with her sister on a trip. So that is a father/daughter time which should be fun.
Then for the second half of this break from my role at Vintage Faith Church I will heading up to Portland for part of it. I have for some meetings with George Fox University about the Origins Project that is launching in September and doing some interviews with leaders there. And hanging out with Ricky McKinley, and my brother and some other friends while there. And seeing Roger Water's "The Wall" with Ricky and others while in Portland. Then we will be heading to Santa Barbara and visiting with my friend Britt Merrick (Reality Church) and his family (our wives got to meet at a retreat we were both on, so that should be fun getting the families together). Britt has a very excellent book that I just read the manuscript of called Godspeed: Making Christ's Mission Your Own. On that trip I will be meeting and interviewing church leaders and seeing my friend Dave Kinnaman while there also. So the second half is a somewhat of a working break, but I won't be back yet in my role with Vintage Faith Church. I will be visiting other churches during this time and look forward to being at other Santa Cruz churches. I rarely get to worship and be at other local churches, so we will be doing that during this second half of the break.
It should be an interesting time period for me, as I have never taken this long of a break from the ongoing role of local church leadership. I am not burned-out by any means, so this is not a burn-out-I-need-a-break time. Almost the opposite, as it has been a pretty sweet and fun time in our church and we have so many things in the planning with adding on two more worship gatherings, bringing on some new key staff and we have had an amazing surge of healthy growth this past season. So it is sort of a proactive time of getting away for both rest and relfection on how I am really doing which seems to only be able to get that from stopping for a while from all the activity of life. I see this break as a learning, visiting other churches, working on some outside of Vintage Faith Church projects and minsitres I am involved with - so both a rest but also learning time period and emotional refreshment from backing out of the normal weight of ongoing resposibility to gain some emotional refreshment and perspective.
I then come back to the release of my next book "Adventures in Churchland: Finding Jesus In The Mess Of Organized Religion" which comes out in summer. I will be blogging a lot (but not too much to where it is annoying) about that when I return and focusing time after the break on what the book is about and interacting online about the theme and topics of the book. Adventures in Churchland is wrapping up with all the final editing and interior graphics now and will be released this summer. So more on that when I return. The web site and my part of the launch of the book will happen on July 23 with the launch of the web site for the book and when I begin blogging again.
I will also start working on the next two books soon which will be also be on Zondervan Publishing. The next one is basically an apologetics book on the tough questions of the day regarding the Bible and the Christian faith. I LOVE apologetics, but many apologetics books are either too heady and dry reading or they are too overly simplistic in answers to very complex and tough questions (in my opinion). So this next one will be focused on some difficult questions about the Christian faith being asked and Christians being challenged with today.
The one after I will be working on is a church leaders book which will be looking at 6 common and positive things about churches who are seeing emerging generations a part of them. I think we have done a lot of self-evaluation and needed to be looking at the negative things about the church today - I wrote a whole book on it. But now I am feeling we need to look at the positive things as God is doing some wonderful amazing things in churches across the country. I will be forming 6 common things happening in churches, not programs as much as values and philosophies and ways of going about mission that churches are doing who are seeing emerging generations becoming disciples of Jesus in them. It will sort of be a "They Like Jesus AND the Church" book.
So this is my last blog post until June. When I return this blog is going to also change and become part of redesigned in July. And I will be blogging more frequently then as well after this break. But for now, it is off for rest/reading/research and writing and gearing up for this next season of life and ministry.
**** If anyone is emailing me or Facebook messaging me and I am not responding, this is the reason why. So I apologize for not getting back to you - but for my temperament and emotions, I need to fully disconnect in order to truly "rest". That's a whole other topic about Twitter, blogging and Facebook and non-stop communication and how that effects us.
The next post here on this blog will be in June, but I will be posting on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/DanKimball during the second half after my total abstinence from being online. During the second half of this break I will be posting about some of the things I will be learning and experiencing. But just brief posts on Facebook until June when I fully return and re-enage with church and focus on the Adventures in Churchland book which will be coming out as well.
I shall miss our church tremendously.... it is such a nourishing community and the people I serve with are so life-giving. So that is the toughest part of this, as I will be with family but not around our church family for a while. But farewell for now... and I will be back on the blog in June.