Episode 064: What Are Summers For? (Pt 2)

In this episode we pick up our conversation on summers to talk about the purpose of pastoral sabbaticals.

Every fulltime employee on our staff gets a sabbatical at least once every seven years… 

More and more companies around the country are allowing extended leave, recognizing the value of extended time off during key periods of a person’s life… 

When you give your employees extended time away to refuel, in the long run you’ll get more productivity… the cost of replacing that employee is far greater than the cost of giving them time off… 

The first time I had a sabbatical I didn’t really know what to do with it… then I started to realize that there is a three-fold dynamic to sabbaticals: rest, recreation, and renewal… 

Honestly, though, it doesn’t take long to physically rest… but the reflecting takes longer… in our daily schedules we tend to go from one episode to another, and sometimes it is difficult to stop and really pay attention to how things are affecting us… 

These sabbaticals can teach the world how to live again… the church has always been a provocation… the sabbatical reminds us and the world that God is a God of rest… 

Sometimes we forget that Jesus was hidden for thirty years, and then during his three-year ministry he never ran anywhere… we can show the world a better way… 

St. Bernard said that the servant of the Lord is not like a pipe, where God’s work just comes through us… the servant of the Lord is more like a bowl, where we wait until we’re full and then we pour out… sabbatical is a time to become full again… 

If you’re going to go on sabbatical, you need to make sure the sheep are cared for… we stagger our sabbaticals so that our church is cared for well… 

Every person is unique, but for most pastors, they need to get out of town… so if your pastor goes on sabbatical, you need to make sure he has money to travel… if the sabbatical is going to really benefit your pastor, they need to get away…

The first two or three weeks of sabbatical is all about decompression… a four week break is not a sabbatical… six weeks is the minimum for a pastor who’s carrying a preaching weight… any less than that and you won’t come back refueled… six to ten weeks is great if you can get it… three months is even better… 

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