Pastor Ryan's Sabbatical Letter

June 23rd, 2021
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

By now, you have probably heard that I am taking a three-month sabbatical this summer starting in July. According to our by-laws, the church gives the lead pastor this time every five years to rest, renew and reimagine. I will be taking this time to rest proactively and research for better work in the future. The sabbatical isn’t a vacation from ministry but rather a part of every active ministry.

Full-time ministry is demanding, and few people recognize the spiritual and physical toll it takes on a pastor. Lifeway Research reports that 1700 pastors leave the ministry every month! The most common reason for this exodus is burnout. It’s a big job, and that’s why God established the sabbath. He first modeled the sabbath in Genesis 2:2-3 where He ceased working on the seventh day to rest. Jesus also modeled the sabbath when he went off many times to be alone with the Father. He then commanded his disciples to “come away and rest” (Mark 6:31) as a part of ministry. I am so grateful for a church body that supports rest and renewal for their pastors.

I have appreciated all the encouragement I have received from so many of you telling me that I’ve “earned” this time to get away and rest. We have seen God do so much together these last five years. We can look back together and see how much God has done! I plan to use this sabbath time to build on the momentum we have and catapult us forward with a fresh new vision. For five years, we have been building up the foundations of our church. Now it’s time to build out into the community.

What do the next three months look like for Trinity Church?
The pastoral staff; and the elected boards have been working diligently to put a plan into place not to lose any momentum while I am away. Our Associate Pastor, Andy, will be preparing and delivering sermons every week. He is a Spirit-led man of God, and I have complete confidence in his abilities. The other leaders, as well as the elders, and administration board, will also be sharing the day-to-day ministry needs. They are intentionally making themselves available, and I am fully confident that this will be a fruitful season for the church all around.

In my absence, I would like to challenge each of you as members of the body of Christ to be intentional with your spiritual gifts to build up the church. I am only one person out of many. Please use this time to serve and volunteer if you see a need. Please pray! Pray for our ministry this summer. Pray for Andy and the leaders as they serve, and please pray that I am faithful to use this sabbatical time wisely. I will miss seeing you all, and I already look forward to the next five years and beyond. May God bless you and the ministry at Trinity Church.

In His Service,
Ryan Schmitz
Lead Pastor
What is a sabbatical? Click the link below to learn more about the biblical basis for sabbaticals.