The concept of sabbatical is rooted in the biblical concept of “Sabbath” which God modeled (Genesis 2:1-4a) and commanded (Exodus 20:8-11). In Leviticus 25:1-7, the Lord says that after the sixth year the people were not supposed to sow the fields or harvest a crop. The land was allowed to rest, and therefore, so were the people.
Sabbaticals have often been used in church and academia to provide a time of rest, recovery, renewal and re-education for individuals. Many businesses are also now providing paid sabbaticals for some of their employees. Statistically, most pastors will never receive a sabbatical. Those who do, however, find it to be a transformative experience that allows them to thrive personally and professionally. Some common activities and goals achieved through a sabbatical are:
To further the ministry objectives of the church
To enhance the personal ministry of the Lead Pastor and
To provide for physical, spiritual and relational renewal and refreshment.
As Elders, we believe that our Lead Pastor should model God’s design for Sabbath rest. We believe that a time of sabbatical is biblical and important both in the sharpening and renewal of the pastor and for the health and strength of the Church. As such, the sabbatical will be for the pursuit of activities approved by the Elders of the church. We believe there will be benefits reaped on many levels and our goal is to provide a framework that will allow our Lead Pastor to counter the mental, emotional, and physical stress of full-time ministry.
As always, anyone wishing to inquire personally regarding this policy is encouraged to speak to any of our elders. While we will be creating a policy that speaks to the custom needs of Mainstreet Church, the United Brethren Denomination has a section of the Pastoral Ministry Handbook that speaks to the importance of Sabbaticals. Please visit this link - https://ub.org/pmh/pm-sabbaticals/ - to learn more.