Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The end of one Adventure, the Beginning of a new one

This past weekend was my 'final hurrah':  A weekend of fishing in Hatteras - including a day in the Gulf Stream -  with my Dad, my boys, my brother, and my good friend John Tiller.   (see the bottom of this post for some pics!)

I got back into Powhatan Monday (Labor Day) afternoon and had a special dinner with my family that night to mark the end of my Sabbatical.   We sat around the dinner table and looked at some of the pictures that marked the memories.  We only looked at some of the pictures, mind you, since we took over 3,000 this summer!

It was a special time.  We savored the experiences we had together.  This unique gift gave us the privilege to experience things we'd never done before, some of which we will likely never do again.  There is no way to adequately describe what a powerful and important summer this was for my family.  I'm am deeply grateful to PCC and to the Lilly Endowment's Clergy Renewal Program for the time and resources that each gave to me.

So, I went to bed last night with three emotions that didn't mix well:
1) Sadness.  Our Summer Of A Lifetime was over.  It was so good, it was kind of hard to see it end.

2) Excitement.  I would wake up and go into my office for the first time in a very long time.  I was looking forward to catching up on all that I had missed, hearing from my friends about what was happening at our church, and just being reunited with them.

3) Anxiety.  I didn't know much about what had happened, but I knew the church had moved forward.  That's what I wanted.  It was a good thing.  But 3 months is a long time.  It honestly felt a little odd.  I felt a little outsider.  And I was also worried that I would make a misstep or do something wrong or say something wrong.  I want to honor all the great things that have happened and the great work our team has done.  So, there was a natural worry about what 'coming back' would look like.

So, how did today turn out?  It was fantastic!  I spent most of the morning saying hello to folks on our staff, who loved on me and welcomed me home.  Sammy Frame and I met for a long time and he brought me up to speed on as much as he could.  Then I spent some time with Beth Stoddard to debrief about our Sunday morning experiences and then I spent some time with Tony Tomandl to talk about our metrics.  Then I returned some calls (there are still a lot of those to make!) and some emails (ugh...those might never be caught up!) and worked on some of the speaking and teaching events that are coming up for me.

What was most surprising to me today was how comfortable it felt.  From the moment I walked into the building, it was clear that 1) folks were glad I was back, and 2) the team had led our church incredibly well without me.

So, the Adventure of my Sabbatical is over.  But there is a new, exciting, and slightly unanticipated adventure in front of me.  This adventure is one where I'm still leading at PCC, but I'm leading in a different way.  What am I talking about?  I'm not exactly sure.  But there is something very good - VERY good - that has happened here over this summer.  God had done a new thing - a powerful thing - in our staff and leadership. And I'm excited to uncover, with them, exactly what that is.

Thanks for the touches from lots of folks today.  It's good to be home.

me, John Tiller and a Mahi-Mahi

Me and my Dad

We caught 59 Mahi Mahi and 2 Wahoo!


lorwhee said...

You were sorely missed. Not the pastor but Brian Hughes. Glad you and the family are back and had a wonderful summer. Great things are coming.

jf said...

Hey!!!! Those are the same stuffed fish they let my family take a picture with!!

jf said...

It looks like Susan has some cooking to do.