I want to share some personal stuff with you today. This is something that means the world to me. This Sunday, North Point asked Christie and me to come back up on the platform at the end of the service. What they told me/us rocked my world!
TJ Watkins told us the advisory team had been talking and praying, and decided to do something special for my 10 year anniversary at the church. I can't believe we moved here 10 years ago this May to start NP. Here's what it was.........
The church is giving me a 2 month sabbatical in 2009. If you aren't familiar with that term, it is a time off. A time of rest and renewal. A time to take a break and let God pour into you. A time to do some things you can't normally do, and go somewhere you can't normally go to learn something new. I was shocked! I don't know when I'll take it yet, nor what I'll do, but I can tell you what it means to me.
I'm a guy that loves what he does. I don't need lots of props and pats on the back because I love what I do and the calling in my life is strong. If it all fell apart, I'd start over and do it again! But...... it feels good to be appreciated sometimes. I sometimes forget how much it means to me, and how much it can mean to you. I cried sincere tears of appreciation on Sunday morning over a church that loves its pastor so much. Sure, we make each other mad at times, but we truly love each other.
On my way home from church, I almost started crying again. I could stop thinking how I want to be a better pastor, a better leader, and a more committed Christ follower for and because of you! I know pastors that hate going to their own church...... but that's not me! I love it. I love every single Sunday we get to worship together and point people to Christ! I love every single tired Monday morning when I get to wake up and come back to NP to be with my staff and you guys! Not every pastor feels that way, but I do.
Last thing....... we are just getting started together. We are going to see more people cross the line of faith next year than we ever have. We are going to see more baptisms, more people connecting in Life Groups to become more like Jesus, and more people serving for the sake of the gospel! I'm excited, and I'm ALL IN. Therefore, I'll go ALL OUT with you!