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Author Archives: Randy Willis

Sabbatical Growth Plan

Sabbatical Growth Plan

As I shared recently, Joleen and I are both taking a short-term sabbatical (one month, plus two weeks of vacation). We’re seeking physical and spiritual renewal and growth in ministry leadership.

Physical & Spiritual Renewal
Spiritual health is vitally important. Lance Witt, in his book, Replenish (see my post), argues, “We have neglected the fact that a pastor’s greatest leadership tool is a healthy soul.”

Witt writes, the …

Great Commission will not be fulfilled by human ingenuity or innovative thinking alone. This God-sized task will only be completed by Spirit-filled, spiritually healthy churches. And these churches will not be spiritually healthy unless their leaders are spiritually healthy.

My regular daily disciplines, including daily time with God (prayer, journal, Bible reading), exercise, rest, and sleep, will help with physical and spiritual renewal. The sabbatical will give us an opportunity to be more intentional about replenishing our bodies and souls!

Growth in Ministry Leadership
For growth, we’ll visit some vital churches, read some books and articles, and watch some videos. I have no idea how many books I will actually read (I’m not necessarily expecting to read twelve; I just couldn’t whittle the list down any further), but I have settled on the following list. I’ll simply start at the top and go as far as I can …

  1. Grave Robber (Mark Batterson)
  2. Are You Fully Charged?: The 3 Keys to Energizing Your Work and Life (Tom Rath)
  3. inGenius (Tina Seelig)
  4. Creativity, Inc. (Ed Catmull)
  5. Ways of the Word (Sally Brown/Luke Powery)
  6. Everyone Communicates, Few Connect (John Maxwell)
  7. Praying Together (Megan Hill)
  8. Radical Together: Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God (David Platt)
  9. Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders (Reggie McNeal)
  10. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 (Travis Bradberry)
  11. Leadership 2.0 (Travis Bradberry)
  12. When the Game Is Over It All Goes Back in the Box (John Ortberg)

We’re grateful for this opportunity to be replenished. We trust that God will renew us in body and soul, and that he will help us grow to be stronger, healthier leaders!

The Role of Tribal Leaders in the Church

The Role of Tribal Leaders in the Church

In 2012, Centre Grove UMC’s church council read Winning on Purpose: How To Organize Congregations to Succeed in Their Mission by John Edmund Kaiser. At the time, we were transitioning from a traditional United Methodist multi-committee structure to an alternative single-committee structure. In the book, Kaiser shares Paul Borden’s somewhat humorous metaphor of the board,… Continue Reading

Short-Term Sabbatical

Short-Term Sabbatical

United Methodist pastors are encouraged to take sabbaticals on a regular basis. Our conference allows for one-month sabbaticals once every four years (longer sabbaticals are available, a little less frequently). This will be our first sabbatical since beginning ministry in the UMC in 1998. The appropriate committees from both Centre Grove UMC and West Side… Continue Reading

A Prayer for the 2016 General Conference of the UMC

The 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church takes place May 10-20, 2016 in Portland, Oregon. General Conference, which takes place every four years, is the top policy-making body in the UMC and is the only church entity that has authority to speak for the entire denomination. General Conference meets every four years to… Continue Reading

“Simplify”

Bill Hybels’ book, Simplify, offers “ten practices to unclutter your soul,” in the following titles … From exhausted to energized From overscheduled to organized From overwhelmed to in control From restless to fulfilled From wounded to whole From anxious to peaceful From isolated to connected From drifting to focused From stuck to moving on From… Continue Reading