Lead Pastor Sabbatical

Lead Pastor Sabbatical

At our Annual General Meeting in early June, it was noted that following Pastor Dave Heinrichs sabbatical in the summer of 2017 Pastor David Esau would be taking his scheduled three month sabbatical in January-March 2018.  David has been in ministry at Eagle Ridge for nearly six years.

Why a Sabbatical?

The principle of a sabbatical is rooted in God's institution of a "sabbath rest" on the seventh year--a God-given block of time for rest and renewal (see Leviticus 25).  Practically speaking, our conference and congregational policy is to provide our pastoral staff "A three month sabbatical...after five years of continuous service.  This time is meant to be a time of enrichment and refreshment by study, retreat, project or other special events."   We believe that a sabbatical increases the effectiveness and longevity of our pastoral staff in our congregation.

What will David be doing on Sabbatical?

During his sabbatical David is planning a combination of studyretreatservice, and perhaps travel.

  • Study - David is planning to take a course or two that he in turn hopes to preach & teach on following his return (i.e. "Romans" and "World Religions" or "Intercultural Studies")
  • Retreat - David is planning to spend some time away reading books on his wish list.
  • Service - David is currently in discussion with MB Mission & Dr. Gordon NIckel to help produce a simplified version of his academic book, The Gentle Answer to the Muslim Accusation of Biblical Falsification.  This would be a practical guide for witness and discipleship.
  • Travel - Time & finances permitting, David has also expressed interest in visiting our missionaries David & Marina Bonilla who are working in Nogales, Mexico.  David last visited them in March 2013 in Bogota, Colombia.

Sabbatical Understandings

  • Pastor Dave Heinrichs will provide point leadership to the church and staff in David's absence and will do the bulk of the preaching.
  • The Elder Board will continue to meet and provide spiritual, financial and shepherding oversight.  They will be asking others to also assist them with pastoral care and visitation during this time.
  • David agreed to delay his sabbatical till 2018 so that Dave H. could complete his first and so that both pastors would not be away in the same year.
  • The Esaus plan to visit ERBF occasionally, but will mainly use this opportunity visit other church and ministry colleagues in our community and conference. 

Informational Meeting - We recognize that you may have questions not covered here, so we invite you to join us for an information & discussion meeting on Sunday, November 26 at 11:45 am (i.e. after the worship service).

- Rob Klassen (Board of Elders chairperson)