I’m blessed to be serving in a church that has decided that pastoral staff should get a sabbatical. Here is the sabbatical section of our personnel policy:
“The biblical principle of the Sabbath was given for man’s protection against burn out. Not only does that apply to our work week and taking a day off, but there’s a longer range benefit as well. The purpose of a sabbatical – an extended time away from work – is spiritual, relational, emotional and physical rest and recuperation.
After a staff pastor has completed five years of full time ministry at Nags Head Church he is eligible for a one month sabbatical. Or he may choose to wait until the completion of seven years of ministry and take a sabbatical of up to three months. During the time of sabbatical salary and benefits will continue to be paid by the church. Sabbatical does not negate accrued vacation time, but is in addition to vacation. Sabbaticals must be requested at least six months in advance and be approved by the elder body.”
I look forward to this time to refresh, renew and refuel! I’m thankful that our church sees the benefit of a sabbatical. This is my fourteenth year at NHC and this will be my second sabbatical. My first sabbatical was when we brought the twins home. I spent a month at home changing diapers, holding and feeding babies, living life with a huge lack of sleep. Not really refreshed after that sabbatical but the time off was really appreciated and it hit at exactly the right time.
If more churches put this into practice would they keep pastoral staff around longer than two or three years? Would pastors get the 7 year itch to move on to a new ministry location?
My plans are to:
Spend more time reading the Word and articles and books.
Spend more time with my family investing in them.
Spend more time resting and relaxing and even taking long walks on the beach.
Spend more time working around the house and getting some projects done.
Take a few small road trips.
I plan on blogging more during this time and of course posting the meals I cook on instagram.