For the last eleven years I have had the privilege of serving and leading as Worship Pastor at ClearView Baptist Church Franklin, Tennessee. And I guess they want me to stay around for a while, because this summer they have allowed me to take a seven week sabbatical to refresh, renew and relax. This sabbatical is a welcomed blessing, however, I must say it has been very difficult to disconnect. I am working on that and will probably have it down just about the time the sabbatical comes to an end.
The sabbatical is divided into two sections: study and relaxation. For the relaxation part we have planned some family trips and down time around our house. The study part has and continues to proceed down two paths. The first comes in the form of studying leaders and their actions of leadership. The main avenue of this study is personal interviews with leaders of non-profit and for-profit organizations. To date I have conducted 10 interviews with more to come. I plan to post more info about these interviews at a later date.
In some ways it seems like months ago that my family and I made a trip to England and Scotland. The reality is just a few days ago. It began roughly as we were delayed in our departure by weather and missed an overnight flight to London. However, the trip was something we will look to as a ‘marker’ in our family, something we will remember and talk about for years to come.
The trip was title: Our Christian and Baptist Heritage. During our travels we visited typical tourist locations with stops at the Oxford and Cambridge Universities and the home of C.S. Lewis. Throughout the trip there were stops at locations of significance to ‘dissenters’ (persons who dissented against the Church of England) that lead to the formation of the Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and other protestant traditions. The trip was lead by Dr. David Dockery, President of Union University and Dr. Timothy George, Dean of Beeson Divinity School and Samford University. Before each stop we were given a history lesson about the persons and events that related to each site. Places we visited were related to such noted figures as: John Bunyan, John Knox, William Carey, John Wesley and Charles Spurgeon.
The sites were amazing but what will stick with us more is the desire of the men just mentioned to be a follower of Christ and that they were willing to do so at all cost.