For the last 18 months or so, the pastors of our church have been having a discussion about a sabbatical for me. What is it? Should I be given one? How long? How should it be spent? After spending a good bit of time doing research, seeking counsel from others, and discussing it among themselves numerous times, they included me in the discussions. They determined they would recommend a Sabbatical for me to the congregation for next summer as I approach my 10-year anniversary.

Here was a portion of that proposal they wrote and submitted to the church for discussion last month:

The intention of a pastoral sabbatical is to provide a time of rest, renewal, and refreshment of the pastor’s soul and his family with longevity of ministry in mind. The pastoral sabbatical includes deliberate efforts for the pastor to grow, learn, mature, and excel all the more in his ministry upon his return. The pastoral sabbatical is distinct from vacation time. When the pastor uses vacation time, he is not expected to fulfill ministry obligations. However, during the pastoral sabbatical, the pastor is charged to engage in devotional, theological, pastoral, and personal reflection and renewal.

I would love to hear from some pastors who have taken a sabbatical.  What did you do?  How long was it?  What were the reasons for it?  How did it benefit you and your congregation?

Thanks for your feedback!