Posted in:

Rock Bridge Family,

As you have heard in my recent video, I am entering into a Sabbatical season this summer during June and July. I am filled with gratitude for all that God has done for the past 23 years in this body of believers. I am filled with expectancy about all God is going to do as we follow Him in bold faith, believing as always that the best is yet to come!!

I want to be “my best for His glory.”

That is why I am submitting to and rejoicing in the wisdom of our Elders to give me the opportunity to take a Sabbatical. A Sabbatical is a season of extended rest from typical duties and responsibilities in order to just “be with Jesus” in a way that is both refreshing and sanctifying. Allow me to share a few thoughts that are guiding me and invite you to pray with me as I prepare for this season.

1) “The greatest need of my people is my own holiness.”

That quote from Robert Murray M’Cheyne has long been in my mind but lately it has taken on a new urgency in my soul. This means that those of us in a pastoral vocation need not only to be walking—albeit imperfectly—with Christ but we need deep communion and fellowship with Him.

In a sense, I will be exchanging the daily work of pastoring and leading Rock Bridge for the work of attending to my soul and allowing God to work in me in those places that most need His grace. To help facilitate this I will be taking a spiritual retreat to Texas, doing a “solitude” retreat, and keeping a disciplined rhythm of connecting with God without hurry multiple times a day.

2) Sabbatical is a form of abstinence.

I will not be experiencing the energy that comes from preaching nor the adventure of helping lead a church. There might even be a sense of boredom that creeps in after doing vocational ministry relatively uninterrupted for so many years. The danger is that my self-esteem and identity can—often unknowingly—become dependent on being a pastor and preaching. I can begin to draw energy and base my identity on the appreciation and the criticism that come with being a pastor, rather on Jesus’ Gospel love for me.

Going on a Sabbatical will be a form of abstinence from the pastoral work and calling that I love in order to pursue the One I love even more—Christ.

3) Withdrawal and rest are also forms of God’s preparation.

A frequent pattern in Scripture is that withdrawal (from the usual pace of life) becomes a form of renewal and formation for God’s people. We see God using the seasons of withdrawal to form and shape His people into who they need to become in order to grow in faithfulness and Christ-likeness for the future grace and purposes He has in store! The best is to come!

4) Rock Bridge will be well served by our spiritual leaders, and God’s work will continue in and through them and you!

The overt reason Paul writes 2 Timothy is to invite Timothy to visit him in prison (Timothy would therefore be away from his church for a prolonged season). As part of that invitation, he urges Pastor Timothy to equip other leaders (2:2). We are blessed to have such leaders at Rock Bridge, and God will use them to serve and edify this church while I am unplugged. I am excited not only for them to have this opportunity but for you to experience God’s Spirit and grace flow through them.

  • Zach Plumley (RB Calhoun Campus Pastor) has organized our preaching ministry through the summer. Zach along with other campus pastors will be teaching God’s Word to you. You will hear from God through their teaching so be expectant.
  • Felix Quinones and Cory Stanley (Executive Pastors) will be leading our church and staff on a day-to-day basis, keeping us moving forward strategically while ensuring week in and week out, we love God in worship, love others in serving and community, and live sent in evangelism and missions.
  • Alfred Turley (RB Chatsworth Campus Pastor) will be handling my pastoral care and counseling responsibilities and requests.
  • Darline Morgan ( will be handling any correspondence that comes to me and ensuring that it gets handled by the right person in a timely manner.
  • Our Directional Elders will continue to oversee the overall health and direction of all of Rock Bridge while our Campus Elders will continue to shepherd and love people in our six local congregations.

Thank you, Rock Bridge, for praying for me as I exchange pastoral work and leadership for soul work, being with Jesus, and connecting more with Beth and my boys.

Thank you, Rock Bridge, for trusting the leadership of our elders and supporting the other spiritual leaders who also labor and work for your joy in the Lord!

Thank you, Rock Bridge, for believing the best is to come!

God bless,