As of yesterday (November 1, 2010) my sabbatical officially came to a close from the open house.
Most of you know that my sabbatical was a little different than most religious sabbaticals in that I kept working full-time in my “other” job, and I was actually around the community a lot. But perhaps the most powerful gift I received was the gift I gave myself to not add more pressure to myself to “do” and spent more time learning how to “be.”
It begun with week long retreat in Arizona at the Mens Rites of Passage and ended with a good authentic conversation with the Cooper’s in my kitchen after a fun Halloween night with the kids. And in between there was some test writing, working in Victoria, Holiday (x2) in the Okanagan and the announcement that we are having another baby to add to the Martin clan and to keep Jude occupied (due March 2, 2010).
A couple things I learned from my experience as it relates to my role as a pastor/ church planter at the open house:
1. I still have a passion to lead. I missed my role, and know that in some way, shape or form I will need to continue to lead.
2. I have some good friends in Vancouver and I am beginning to enjoy the city more. When your life is dictated by moving to a specific city for a job (in my case start the open house), you can begin to resent the city because of your own issues. By having space from that role and through investigating some alternatives I realize that I do like Vancouver a lot more than I thought, and I realized there are some good people out here who are critical in my development as a person.
3. I have a new passion for spirituality and open inquiry. This is still being developed, but it’s a good thing.
4. I am not interested in church structures. I am not very interested in spending a lot of time researching/ blogging / talking about them. BUT I am very interested in vehicles of communication. I believe the new church structure will be passages of communication, not structure… again more to develop on this as well.
5. I need a flexible community around me. This connects to #4 in a few ways, but basically I need people that are willing to grow and change with the times and not always say “remember when.” As it is said a lot these days, “It is what it is,” let’s move forward and try new things. Going back is not negative in itself, but when it comes out of discouraged or fearful heart, it is not helpful in a flexible/ agile community.
6. On a practical level, religious language is confusing and not very helpful to those not in religious circles. By not being in a religious setting, but still receiving emails, reading blogs and getting tweets from some religious friends I became much more aware of this.
So there are some of my thoughts and discoveries over the past 6 months. Looking forward to connecting with many of you this Sunday.
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.