Hello, Cross Community Family!
I wanted to take just a moment to share some exciting news about our next few weeks together at Islands Academy. Over the next three Sundays, I will be taking a break from the Gospel of Mark and we are going to have the opportunity to hear messages from a few different members and leaders from our own congregation for a short, 3-week message series titled “Home Grown.” Nothing brings me greater joy than opening the Scriptures and preaching the Gospel within our church family each week, but here is why I believe intentional breaks like this one are important for the life and long-term health of our congregation:
- It reminds us that the ministry of the local church cannot revolve around the gifts of any one person. Christ alone is the central focus of our congregation.
- It helps us build a discipling culture of raising up more preachers and teachers from within our church family, and creates an environment where those with the gift of preaching and teaching can cultivate those gifts
- It is a reminder that I, like every other member of our congregation, need to place myself under the teaching and authority of the word for the nourishment of my own soul.
- Personally, it affords my family and I the opportunity to rest and sit in worship together for a few weeks and allows me to refill my own tank apart from the spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional work of sermon preparation and delivery.
To be clear, this is not the same as a formal Sabbatical. I will still be working every day, carrying out my day to day duties leading our staff and elders and being available to serve the spiritual needs of our congregation. With the exception of one Sunday where I will be away with family, I will still be joining you for worship each week and am available to you as I am any other week. This is simply a short period of time where I am putting myself in a position to receive the message for myself rather than being the one to deliver it to our congregation. If the Lord wills, this will become a consistent rhythm in my life as well as the life of our church family going forward and believe it will serve a critical role in the long-term health of our church.
Here is our preaching lineup for the next few weeks:
July 22: Dustin Nally
July 29: Preston Thompson
August 5: Russell Schaeffer
Lord willing, I will return to the pulpit on Sunday, August 12th for our final Sunday at Islands Academy, and we will pick right back up in the Gospel of Mark. Please lift up Dustin, Preston, and Russell as they prepare to share the Word with us in this weeks ahead. Support them by praying for them, sending them words of encouragement, and with your presence in our worship gatherings each week.
Have a wonderful week!