Church on Sabbatical, Part 2

Saints of God! May the Lord bless you today!

We had such a sweet time yesterday at our picnic, and it was a blessing to see folks connecting from all of our house churches over food and fun. This note's purpose is to help clarify our vision for our upcoming church sabbatical from July 17 - August 12.

What does it mean that the "church is on sabbatical"?

First of all, it does not mean that we are "closing the church" or that there won't be anyone available to talk with or provide you with spiritual care and support. We as a leadership team are committed to you and will be available to connect in various ways throughout the sabbatical.

What it does mean is that we, as elders, have been so stirred by our own experience of rest and disrupting our normal rhythms of ministry that we believe it will be very healthy for everyone in our community to get a taste of it.

So, for about 4 weeks, we'll be suspending all of our "official" Cross Culture gatherings, services, small groups, prayer meetings, Bible studies and the like. House churches won't be meeting on Sundays and all other CCC ministry meetings will be "on pause" until we return in mid-August.

This kind of 'break' is especially valuable for those among us who have been leading, facilitating and hosting such gatherings. It will provide them with a period of rest from their work and will promote renewal and rejuvenation as they'll be able to prayerfully consider the vision of the Lord for them moving forward.

But, it also benefits everyone else, who will have the open space to breathe deeply and listen carefully for the voice of the Lord in their own lives, the lives of their families and communities.

Wait, isn't this "unbiblical"? Doesn't Hebrews 10:25 say that we should not "neglect meeting together"?

In fact, we want everything we do to be "biblical." And, we believe that the concept and practice of sabbath rest is rooted in the story of Scripture -- being first mentioned all the way back in Genesis 2! So, our church sabbatical is undertaken in that spirit of faith and hope...that even while we rest, God continues to work on our behalf.

Also, even though our "formal gatherings" are on pause, we don't want to discourage you at all from meeting up with folks in our community. You're free to do so whenever and however you like! You have the invitation to be led by the Spirit in terms of organizing times of fellowship, prayer, meals or recreation with others. For example, you can...
  • Use your Sundays to have meals with folks from our community
  • Open your home at some point for fellowship or prayer
  • Take a "field trip" to another church in our region to support and worship together with them
  • Invite some folks over to watch Jesus Revolution and pray for revival!

The key is that you find your own pace as individuals and families during this time, and that you be sure to take time to sit before the Lord to hear His heart and purpose for you.

In the next note I will also include some resources that might help you as you prepare for and enter into this period of rest.

We're available any time if you have questions or want more information about this. We love you!

-Jeff, for the elders