Why all the effort on Sunday?

OverProject
As I am reflecting on our fantastic Easter services, I am amazed at how many committed people it takes to provide a church experience in the 21st century. I cannot adequately thank all the people who contributed sacrificially to make our celebration successful.

For all the important and accurate critiques of the modern church, this is our culture, and people in the United States are accustomed to worshipping in a particular manner. So, a successful service requires elements like professional childcare, skillful music, a comfortable building environment, a humorous and academic sermon, time efficiency, artistic expression, marketing, and strategic relational connections – to name a few things. These characteristics require great forethought and strategic planning. I have found that no matter how far ahead you think and work hard, there are always things you could have done better.

Still, unlike many award shows, concerts, or cultural events, we do this every week. Easter Sunday is special because Jesus has made every day special. The amazing volunteers at CIL and other churches will continue to bring it every week. Why? He is worthy of our best every time!

Sabbatical for the Allisons

Aaron&Beth-2018-Apr8On Sunday the CIL Leadership Board made an exciting presentation to the church.  Upon their invitation, Beth and I have accepted a sabbatical to celebrate eleven years of service at CIL, and 24 years of vocational ministry.   From May 13 to July 14, we will be away from CIL, enjoying a time of spiritual reflection, family time, and other experiences we do not have the luxury for during the normal pace of ministry.

We are not burned out or in need of a break.  A sabbatical is not a reactive move.  On the contrary, this is a proactive spiritual discipline that will contribute to our personal health and continued service to the CIL community.

CIL is currently in a firm position in every facet of our congregation and experiencing positive momentum.  It is an exciting time at our church, so taking a few weeks off in some ways feels counter-intuitive.  However, we trust our fantastic staff, leadership team, and church family to soar during our time of retreat.

What will we be doing?  Our number one goal during this sabbatical is rest and spiritual renewal.   Some of the things we have planned include time with extended family, council from spiritual mentors, family vacation, prayer retreat at a monastery, and some house chores we haven’t gotten to in a while.

Will you see us at CIL? No.  Our children will still be attending the church often, but Beth and I will be completely retreating from congregational life for this short season.

Who will be preaching? We have an incredible line up of guest speakers that will be speaking each week.  The spiritual life of our church will increase from the ministry of both the CIL staff and outside speakers.

I am expecting this time to be a fruitful and rewarding time for our family’s spiritual development and the health of the CIL family.  Thank you for giving us this opportunity!  We could not be blessed more to serve such great people.

But, we are not on sabbatical yet!    I will be preaching the next five weeks, and I cannot wait to share God’s Word to you during the Easter season!

We love serving Jesus with you!

Aaron and Beth