What’s The Purpose of a Pastor Sabbatical?

In general terms, a sabbatical strengthens and further develops a pastor’s ability to serve the church. This happens when your pastor experiences the results of a well-planned sabbatical. These results include the following:

  • New Perspective. Perhaps most significant, your pastor will gain a new understanding of the world in which your church ministers. This will deepen his own insight and positively affect his preaching and his service.
  • Spiritual Renewal. One of the places pastors can spiritually whither is in the pulpit. A pastor is constantly talking and teaching about the spiritual life. This is so much a part of a pastor’s daily conversations and work, that maintaining and developing his own spiritual needs is less important and easily neglected. A pastor sabbatical is a time to renew spiritual disciplines that got lost in the busy-ness of life.
  • Rest and physical health. To really achieve rest and physical health from intense stress your pastor will need more than a week or two to break away from. It will take him a month just to unwind from the stresses of every day ministry.  A Sabbatical rest is much more than a vacation.  Your pastor’s rest has a purpose.
  • Renewed Humility. A sabbatical for your pastor will give a renewed gift of humility.  Realizing the responsibilities of the church are not all on his shoulders and that he can rely on the strong leaders of his staff.
  • Education. A pastor’s sabbatical is educational. He will learn from his travels, from his reading and studying, from conversations, and from quiet times alone with God.
  • Renewed Passion and Vision. All of the above results lead to this. Your pastor will return from his sabbatical with a clearer sense of mission and the renewed energy to work toward accomplishing it.