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 Is pastor sabbatical biblical?

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Number of posts : 348
Age : 107
Location : the 3rd rock
Registration date : 2009-03-10

Is pastor sabbatical biblical? Empty
PostSubject: Is pastor sabbatical biblical?   Is pastor sabbatical biblical? EmptySat Dec 25, 2010 9:30 am


The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines sabbatical year (sabbatical) as:
1) A year of rest for the land observed every seventh year in ancient Judea
2) A leave often with pay granted usually every seventh year (as to a college professor) for rest, travel, or research -- called also sabbatical leave

Among Southern Baptists, the concept of sabbatical leave is a relatively novel idea. That is unfortunate because the practice of sabbatical could bless both the minister and congregation. A sabbatical is a specific period of time-off granted to the minister for in-depth focus on professional and spiritual renewal and calling. It is a gift the congregation can give to her pastor/staff in recognition of faithful ministry over an extended period of time. It is not a vacation or personal leave. Rather it is a time for creative and intentional meditation, reflection, study and “going deeper with God.” An important result of sabbatical (Spiritual renewal) leave is that the pastor/staff returns to the church field with renewed focus and energy to fulfill God’s calling.


The concept of sabbatical is grounded on the biblical idea of Sabbath rest. The example of Jesus, who frequently sought out a quiet place where he could meditate and pray, away from the constant demands of the crowds, is a strong model for a sabbatical. Sabbaticals offer ministers a chance to step away from the long hours of work, to find healing and rest, and then to return to their place of call equipped and refreshed to inaugurate new ways of being in ministry. Sabbaticals are offered after the minister completes six years of continuous service in one place. Credit for years served does not pass from one call to another, and the minister is obligated to stay at the congregation for at least one full year after returning from her/his sabbatical. Rostered ministers should start planning their sabbatical in consultation with the parish Mutual Ministry Committee one year prior to going on sabbatical.


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