Pastor’s July Sabbatical

Uncategorized // June 28, 2019 //

Greetings church family!

Starting Monday, July 1, I will begin a one-month writing sabbatical to complete my PhD dissertation at Southeastern Seminary ( Our deacons graciously recommended this time away, for which I am humbled and extremely grateful.

As July approaches I want to answer a few frequently asked questions.

What are you writing? My dissertation is on Edward McKendree Bounds (1835-1913) and his theology of unction — that is, his understanding of the Holy Spirit’s operation in the preaching event. For example, “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…” (Acts 4:8). I”ll be making sense of the “filling of the Spirit” in the context of Bounds’ theology. Bounds is best known for his work Power through Prayer. Let me encourage you to check it out. I know it will be a blessing to you.

How can we best pray for you? Many of you have asked me this question, for which I deeply appreciate. I will not complete this project with out the prayers of God’s people.

  1. Please pray that I complete this project. Period. It needs to get done, for the sake of God’s call on my life, my ministry to you, the stability of my family, and the health of my own soul!
  2. Pray that July would be a spiritual refreshment for me. Christian scholarship should never be a mere exercise in academics. No, instead it should serve as a sanctifying process, and a means of advancing the Kingdom of Christ.
  3. As you’ve heard me say before, pray the Lord would fill the gaps for my family. I will be away from Ashley and the kids much of the month. But the Lord is a gap filler. So pray my family receives much grace from him, and July is a month to positively remember.

What happens if…? Great question. As you know, I will be away from all church activities, and communication. I will not have access to my cell phone or email, which will be rerouted to Pastor Jimmy. This is best to ensure my sabbatical is productive and accomplishes its purpose. As always, our pastors and deacons are here to serve you.

Thank you church family for your prayers and support. I love you and will miss you dearly. But, I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, August 4. Have a great July!

It’s All About Him!

About Neal Thornton