I came back from Research Month last Sunday. Despite the bit of adjustment I had to make after coming back, I feel much rejuvenated both spiritually and emotionally. Let me briefly share how I spent the month.
On the first week, I visited a church in California that is known for worship and spiritual gifts. I visited this church almost every day for the entire week to experience their weekday teaching and worship sessions. It reminded me that the very relationship that I need to cherish and develop is not “God and Pastor Caleb”, but “Heavenly Father and Caleb”. I was reminded again that everything I do has to flow from the intimacy with my heavenly father. What a great reminder!
On the second week, I drove up to Portland to attend house church conference for pastors. I got to meet several ESC pastors and it is always uplifting to meet people who share the same passion. We had a great talk and discussion about ministry, particularly house church ministry. During the conference, there was a time to do some sight-seeing. At first, I was a bit disappointed when I heard that they were going to see a waterfall (I thought “what can possibly top Niagara fall!”) but how wrong I was! This little fall called “Multnomah Falls” was small but very beautiful! I was reminded that size is not everything and things can be small but beautiful. I spent the weekend in Seattle, visiting 1st Starbucks store and Pike Place which was a pretty cool experience (I really wished Jennifer was there with me), then visited a church in Seattle on Sunday.
On the 3rd week, I came back home and spent most of the time reading, thinking, planning for future ministry. On Sunday, I visited a church in Mississauga.
On the fourth week, we went on a family vacation near Barrie. It was a much needed time for our family to connect because Jennifer works full time and the amount of time we spend together with our kids is pretty low. We visited a church in Barrie together on Sunday.
Before I left, I wrestled with what I wanted to accomplish during the research month. Then it dawned on me great leaders always see further and wider because their perspective is expansive. So I decided to use this time to see a variety of churches and take focused time to reflect in order to expand my thinking. I think the research month really helped me to gain some margins in my thinking and perspective. I would like to thank everyone who helped the ministry run so smooth during my absence.