In God’s timing, following some incredible moments in the life of our church during the past 6 weeks (including some 9 salvation decisions coming out of Vacation Bible School!) I have been granted sabbatical leave for a remaining portion of the Summer. My family and I will be away renewing ourselves spiritually, mentally, and physically; however, my Pastoral staff will be available for you, along with some other trusted Leaders and friends
As part of my 10 year anniversary with FBC, our Personnel Team granted me an upcoming sabbatical starting in July. So, when you come to worship service on Sunday July 7, a different but familiar face and voice will be present. Our British pastor partner, Rev John Singleton from England is coming over and serve as my Pulpit Supply while I am away. He and wife Enid will stay in our home, and John’s Messages will no doubt inspire your heart and challenge your faith. His presence will give our Church a familiar face (and of course, interesting voice~!) on the Sundays while I am away. I know you will extend a great big Texas welcome to him!
The first part of my sabbatical leave will be spent serving in the Pacific with our Army-chaplain friend and former church member – Lt. Col. Pete Keough. Pete has invited me to come out and assist him with some Chaplain training and ministry readiness programs, and we look forward to reconnecting with the Keoughs at the Pacific Command Training Center in Ft. Shafter, HI.
A second part of my sabbatical leave will be spent in personal study and reflection, where I will not teach, lead, or create anything connected to church services or ministry expectations. During these times I will reflect at a deep level on my faith; read without thinking about how I can use the material in a message; love God just to love Him; listen just to hear from Him, and revisit the simple reasons why I gave my life to Him and answered His call into vocational ministry.
A final important part of my sabbatical leave will be dedicated to renewing relationships with my family as we refresh our hearts and affections for each other. My wife comes from a military family, which in some ways can be compared to a ministry family: extended time apart, on-duty expectations, and absence during holidays. During this time, we will reconnect with some former military family friends in Makawao, HI, and concentrate on our family time together. We look forward to the joy of being able to attend a worship service as a family without pressure or program. “Dad, can we mess up your hair?” is what my kids often ask inquisitively, for it signifies that dad is home, relaxed, and all theirs. We look forward to these days.
The term “sabbatical” is Biblically based and comes from an Old Testament Hebrew word “shabbath,” which literally means “to cease or rest.” The idea is first mentioned in Genesis 2:2, where it states that, “On the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested”; then you find the concept onward throughout the Old Testament. Many years ago our Personnel Team put a policy in place that models this biblical principle:
“The purpose of the sabbatical emphasis is to strengthen FBC Salado by providing opportunities for our pastors and ministerial staff to step away for a time from the persistent obligations of a constant ministry life, and to engage in periods of renewal and reflection. Sabbaticals or extended leave periods are not simply vacations, but a time for intentional recharging, regaining enthusiasm and creativity for ministry, and reconnecting with the Lord and family. Every pastoral staff member serves in a variety of roles, and when duty calls, they answer. The responsibilities, pace, and demands are far reaching, even into their home life. Thus FBC has deliberately put a Sabbatical or extended leave requirement in place with the aim of replenishing their spiritual, emotional, and physical reservoirs in order to benefit the church and God’s Kingdom.”
I want to thank you for the gift of this absence, for supporting me and my family in prayer while we are away, and for remaining faithful to the Body at FBC Salado. See you soon!
Go love, Church!
- Pastor Travis