Carrubbers' Blog

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Summer Sabbatical 2019

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).

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