Sample Post-Sabbatical Report

Pr. Steven J Erickson

This page is a recap of the events and learnings encountered by Pastor Erickson during the sabbatical period (July I-September 30, 1999). A more complete review is available in the Sabbatical Summary that was presented to the Mutual Ministry Committee in October. A complete listing and review of books read is also available on request.

EVENTS: • Clergy Development Institute, July 6-15, Allenspark, CO –led by staff of the Alban Institute. • Parent’s 50th Wedding Anniversary, July 18-22, Hill City, SD. • Wedding in Mt. Carroll, IL July 31 –preach at First Lutheran, Mt. Carroll, August 1. • Wedding in Rochester, MN, September 5 –asked by family to play trumpet for ceremony. • Presentation to the Peoria Kiwanis Club on September 29 about the JFK assassination.

BOOKS: Twelve books were read during August & September and some others started. These will be the basis for recommendations to the Council and committees for new ministries or upgrade of present work.

PERSONAL ACTIVITIES: These are detailed in the Sabbatical Summary but included some of the following: golf, participation in an allergy research project, paint exterior of house, garage sale and family tree work.

CHURCHES VISITED: Twelve churches were visited and assessment made of their hospitality to strangers and follow-up to visitors. Notes were taken on worship style and unique programs or materials.

PERSONAL LEARNINGS: 1. Concrete steps must be taken to prevent burn-out. 2. Different styles of leadership are required for different aspects of congregational life. 3. Clergy support groups are absolutely necessary in clergy self-care.

BENEFITS & APPLICATIONS: 1. Pastor Erickson returns to service more rested and “caught-up.” 2. The congregation experiences different preaching, worship & leadership styles during the three months. 3. Application of the Grubb Oscillation Theory for resolution of issues and confronting of problems. 4. Study by Congregational Council of materials associated with Kennon Callahan’s, Twelve Keys to an Effective Church. 5. Drafting and dissemination of a more detailed vision statement for Advent originating with the pastor (based on George Barna’s, The Power of Vision). 6. Development of a more effective means of recruiting, training and affirming volunteers in the ministries of Advent Lutheran (primary resource: How to Mobilize Volunteers by Marlene Wilson). 7. Incorporate some deeper elements into congregational worship including personalized prayer and chanting. 8. Consider hiring a consultant to guide the Advent leadership through an assessment of ministries and resources. Alban Institute has such consultants available, as do many church research groups.

Pr. Steven J Erickson

This page is a recap of the events and learnings encountered by Pastor Erickson during the sabbatical period (July 1-August 31,2004). A more complete review will be available in the Sabbatical Summary which will be presented to the Mutual Ministry Committee and Congregational Council.

EVENTS: • Alpha Training Conference in St. Louis, July 8-9 • Trip to Springfield, MO to visit Carol’s mother & family, July 28-August 1 • Computer class July 12-14 at Miller Center, Pekin. • Computer class July 22 & 26 at Miller Center, Pekin. • A third computer class scheduled for mid-August was cancelled due to insufficient registrants. • Trips to Chicago (July 3&4), Rockford (July 17&18), Chicago Northshore (August 11-14), Luther College, Decorah, Iowa (August 19-20), Rockford (August 28-29).

BOOKS : Martin Luther, Luther & Culture, Natural Church Development, numerous periodicals & pamphlets.

PERSONAL ACTIVITIES: These will be detailed in the sabbatical summary but included some of the following: leisure reading, re-recording old family tapes, re shingling shed, painting porch & house trim, computer work & reading, weeding out files at home & in office. Played golf seven times.

CHURCHES VISITED: Eight churches were visited (one twice), five of which are currently using the Alpha program.

PERSONAL LEARNINGS: (1) Files must be cleaned out and updated more frequently than every 23 years!! (2) Computers are tremendous worksavers and immensely frustrating. (3) Alpha is the most significant program to reach churches for many years.

BENEFITS & APPLICATIONS: (1) Pastor Erickson returns to church work more caught-up if not better rested. (2) The congregation has been able to experience other pastoral leadership for two months. (3) Alpha will be an amazing programmatic addition to Advent for both foundations in Christianity and outreach. (4) Pastoral refocus on priorities in congregational ministry . (5) Pastor better able to utilize the resources of the computer.