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Stephen's Sabbatical

The elders of MPC have approved and encouraged our minister to engage in a period of sabbatical leave.

What is a 'sabbatical'? It is defined as time away from ministry/work routine, for rest, acquire new skills and engage in training.

What is the aim? To create create 'Gospel Culture' centred on Gospel preaching rather than programming in the methodology of Immanuel Church, Nashville. For a fuller explanation, you can find Stephen's proposal here.


Within the Bible, there are accounts of sabbatical that prepared or recharged leaders. Moses, Elijah, Jesus, Paul, and many more leaders had times of solitude with God to prepare them for ministry.

  • Moses spent 40 years tending sheep before being called and 40 days on the mountain with God later in ministry.

  • Elijah needed more than 40 days to recover and rediscover his call.

  • Jesus took 40 days in the wilderness to fast and pray right before His ministry, as well as periods of spending time away from the crowds at pivotal points.

  • Paul spent 3 days in silence and darkness after seeing Jesus on the road to Damascus.

June 2024 will be the 10th anniversary of Stephen's ordination into ministry, so this will be a suitable time for sabbatical leave.





Monday 11th - Friday 22nd March

Stephen will spend 10 days on Sabbatical, and when he comes home will be present at our worship gathering on Sunday 24th. We look forward to having Mark Hawthorne share at this service.

Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Stephen will spend the duration of this time visiting the Immanuel Nashville. He will be hosted by members of staff from that church family.

Pastors, leaders and members of Immanuel

Stephen will spend his time participating in leadership meetings and have one-to-one time with current and former pastors.

Rest, refreshment and planning

Taking time out from the ministry routine in MPC, Stephen will be able to pray and shape the vision for future plans. He will read some helpful books and enjoy fellowship with those he will meet. You can check out the full itinerary here.

Would you please pray ...

  • that this will be a time of refreshment for Stephen as he continues to shape the vision for MPC, for a true and lasting gospel ministry

  • for the McNie family for the 10-day period while Stephen is away

  • that there will be safety in travel to Nashville and during his stay

  • that this will be a time of blessing and encouragement for the MPC leadership as we continue to develop gospel culture

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