Sabbatical Update From Pastor Mark

Two months down and one to go! Thank you for this gift of sabbatical, it has been so helpful to my soul, my family, and my future as a pastor, husband, dad and child of God!

For most of the past four weeks we have been home – enjoying hurricanes (well one), getting the kids back to school and soccer and youth group, and investing extended times in study and prayer. It is exciting to see God pulling together resources that are drawing my study together. Soul care is married to discipleship. My two sabbatical goals are clearly one.

I shared some of my key resources in the last post, but here are a few things I’ve been learning:

  • I’ve been given the joy of repenting of an “orphan mentality”. Jesus made me right with God, but He also made me a son. I don’t have to fend for myself anymore.
  • You all overflow with gospel centrality. So encouraging to see!
  • Discipleship is different than leadership development. Every believer needs a few discipleship relationships – and they are needed by others. But this is not as complicated as it seems. Though it is still costly.
  • Children ask loving parents for many things, orphans dare not (think Oliver Twist).
  • God has not simply written the rules for the game, tossed the ball on the field, then left to do more important things… He is actively working. I’ve needed to repent of a lack of anticipation and expectation—a real trust that God is working. Orphans don’t expect their dad’s help.

To be sure, there is more but then this would be a paper, not a post. This next month will bring more weekend travel. By God’s grace I will be in Montreal for the launch of Initiative 22, the church that the Bernier’s are planting. We will also spend a weekend in Boston with one of my mentor’s.

Thank you for praying for us, we need it. You can pray that I would grow in my understanding that I am a son, not an orphan. That my soul would love God and others more. That I would see sin and be free to repent of it. These last four weeks will begin to focus on implementing what I’ve seen, so pray for wisdom and leading as we look to the future.

I love you all and realize how blessed I am to be your pastor.




One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Heidi Otte on September 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Dear Mark,
    Thank you for what you shared! I am excited for you and thankful for what God is revealing in you while on Sabbatical! I just finished reading “From fear to freedom” by Rose-Marie Miller, Jack Miller’s wife and it is exactly about what you shared! Going from an Orphan mindset to a daughter of God. I still have much to grow up in these things, but praise God he is showing the leadership these things now!! Hopefully it will overflow out into our body at Windham! God bless you and Tracy as you are in this month together. What you endured over the three years Roger was gone, I can’t even imagine! God has shown us much grace while you have been away. Thank you again for all you have invested in my husband, he is a different man than when he started working with you 6 years ago. I know it is the Holy Spirit’s work, but your humility in teaching and leading him has reaped good fruit through his heart as well! Thank you Mark. We love you guys!
    Love, Heidi Otte


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