Sabbatical Reflections, Part One

Once again, I want to thank you for extending to me the time for sabbatical this summer. It was a much-needed experience of rest and spiritual renewal, a time to dream and plan on behalf of our church and even to learn from what others are doing.


One of the downsides of being a local church pastor is that I rarely experience other churches on Sunday mornings. So during my time away, I jumped at the chance to visit some other Lynchburg area congregations and worship with them.


All four congregations I visited were quite different from one another in terms of their location, denomination, theology, and preaching style, and yet they all have this in common: robust worship with a room full of people and a clear commitment to intentional hospitality.


The churches had parking lot attendants who not only directed vehicles as they came in, but also greeted and struck up conversation with me. Inside they had clearly marked information stations for guests. Pastors and worship leaders acknowledged the presence of guests and invited us to return. Added up together, these efforts made it clear that the churches I visited are intentionally trying to reach and welcome new people.


I love that we are similarly committed to hospitality at Timberlake. We talk a lot about being a family, and I love counting you as my brothers and sisters. Let’s make sure we are a family expecting guests and that we always have more room in the circle and another seat at the table for the next person who will come.


With gratitude for you,
Pastor Brad