Sabbatical: Rev David Nixon
Dates: June 3rd – August 31st 2019
Focus: Leadership Development
Context and Goals:
Thank you for the opportunity to take a pause to invest in some additional training, before embarking into an exciting new season of life and ministry. I was encouraged by some wise counsellors to use this sabbatical to develop a “Leadership Vision/Philosophy of Ministry” for the future. Unexpectedly, but naturally, this started to happen in January when I had the opportunity to lay out some fresh vision for our future work in Scotland (“The Haggai Manifesto”) and in March when I shared some fresh strategic thinking for being an “Acts 16” church in the city. Hopefully these things will help us as we move into a new season as a church.
We are in A CHANGING CITY (new parking and traffic restrictions which will impact us as a gathered Sunday community, as well as new building developments next door), A CHANGING CULTURE (as the influence of secularism, radical identity politics and other forces challenge Christian freedoms of conscience, speech, and private family life) and A CHANGING CHURCH (as we rethink our city centre ministry strategy, undergo a significant leadership transition and eldership restructuring).
To help take our church through these changing situations, I feel the need to be better equipped and to gain additional leadership wisdom. I want to be a more positive, constructive leader as I serve on the staff and elder teams, and I want to be a greater blessing to the people that we lead in our church family. Such leadership wisdom and skills need to be ‘caught’ as much as ‘taught’.
I have been in conversation with several experienced Christian leaders to come up with the following as core components for the sabbatical:
- Secondment work with Solas Centre for Public Christianity helping produce book, article and podcast resources for apologetics ministry across Scotland (working with Dr Andy Bannister).
- 360 degree Leadership Mentoring/Coaching (with Charismore Ltd – Jamie MacRae).
- Selected interviews of church leaders in a wide variety of churches in Edinburgh.
- Summer school with the Chalmers Institute (with Dr Mark Stirling and Covenant Seminary in July).
- Extensive guided reading list on leadership (in church and in culture) – informed by Malcolm McGregor, Matthew Round, Michael Luehrmann, Andy Hunter, David Robertson and Tim Keller.
- Starting a new blog/newsletter on our website, called “Thinking Together,” to expose our people to useful resources from Christian books and sources for contemporary life and ministry.
- Possible: Mental Health Triage Course (for additional pastoral care training).