I love serving as the Campus Pastor here at Rock Bridge! This is a place that values and takes care of the staff. In fact, after 7 years of service, full-time Pastoral level staff qualify for a sabbatical. It’s a great way to invest in, value, reward, and encourage longevity with our team.

 I know the word “Sabbatical” looks a lot like a “vacation.” Sabbath, of course, means to stop working, pause or to take a break. But to Sabbath means more than stopping all my Campus Pastor duties. It refers to a period of intentional rest, renewal, and refocusing. It is rest for the sake of better work in the future! 

I want this to be clear here… This is not a forced time away! This is 100% something I’ve requested and looking forward to very much. I’m not leading on burn out mode! However, I want to be anticipatory, not reactionary. Meaning, I know burnout happens and I don’t want to be a statistic hence the reason I want to take some time to pause and recharge.

This time away is strategic and proactive. Jesus commanded his disciples to “come away and rest” (Mark 6:31). Jesus himself spent many nights communing with His Father in prayer. This wasn’t a vacation from his work; it was part of his work. He models for all of us a healthy rhythm of work and rest. I have neglected this rhythm. That is my confession.

So, after 7 incredible years of serving as the Ringgold Campus Pastor, (5 of those seven also serving as the full-time Student Pastor) I have the opportunity to take a 30-day sabbatical to take some intentional time to renew, refresh, and invest in my soul care. Also, this will be a time to reconnect with my family that has at times been neglected due to the ministry’s demands. This sabbatical has been planned, submitted, prayed over, reviewed and approved by our leadership team and our directional elders. 

I’ll be spending a lot of time with my family & mentors as well as a personal alone time where I’ll be in focused bible study and leadership development while completely unplugging from the whirlwind of my role and responsibilities as Campus Pastor at Rock Bridge Ringgold.

Rock Bridge Ringgold is moving into a new ministry platform in 2020 and that has me so fired up! Because of that, it’s going to require a new level of leadership on my behalf. My desire is to get away to renew, refresh, and grow in a couple of specific areas of ministry that I believe will prepare me for the next season of ministry at Rock Bridge Ringgold as I lead our campus.

During this time I will not be answering my email or ministry-related calls/text. Contact Pam Plisko, my administrator, if you need to reach me in case of an emergency.  Pam@rockbridge.cc

 In addition, our team, Andrew Plisko, Caleb Mariakis, Casie Dawson and Zech Dallas are available as well as our 5 elders, Shannon Minors, David Clowers, Michael Anchondo, Chris King & Keith Mariakis. 

While I’m away, I’m confident this team will be able and available to assist you with anything that arises.

I’m so grateful to serve at a church that values their staff in this way. I’m also grateful for the staff here at the Ringgold Campus who will continue to lead our campus and ministries with excellence while I’m away. I’m extremely grateful for the hundreds of you who volunteer and continue to serve faithfully to help us make ministry happen each and every week as WE connect people from all walks of life to life in Christ!

 I covet your prayers for me as I seek to renew, refresh, recharge and grow in my leadership as your campus pastor!

 If you have questions about my sabbatical, please feel free to ask! I look forward to seeing you on November 17th when I start back! 

The Best is Yet To Come! 

I Love You Rock Bridge Ringgold

 JC Groves