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A Pastoral Sabbatical: Why and What It Means

I’m taking a pastoral sabbatical, beginning June 13th til July 29th. It comes every seven years for full-time employees at New Life Church. This will be my second, as I’ve been on staff for almost 16 years. But, what is a sabbatical, particularly from a pastoral perspective? Here’s the blog I wrote for our congregation…

I have been given the gift of a pastoral sabbatical this summer. This is a gift that comes round every seven years for full-time employees at New Life Church. Since I have been on staff for 16 years, this will actually be my second sabbatical, for which I am extremely grateful. The last one came as I was making the transition from worship/pastotal ministry to preaching/teaching/pastoral ministry.  My sabbatical will last a little over six weeks.

What is a sabbatical? It’s a good question, not least because ‘sabbath’ is a lost practice in our day. We all get vacations, and ‘time off’, but a sabbath is something altogether different. Sabbath is a time to stop, to rest, to delight, to play, and to be renewed by the Creator and Sustainer of all things.

A sabbatical is meant to be an extended sabbath. Some have asked if I am…

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