WHAT IS A SABBATICAL?
The concept of a sabbatical is rooted in Scripture, starting in Genesis when God illustrates the natural rhythm of six days working, one day off. Sabbatical is discussed in the Old Testament, as seen in Leviticus 25:1-5, as God commanded the Israelites to let the land rest one year out of every seven. During the seventh year, they are allowed to eat what the land produces, but they must let it grow wild. The sabbatical year of release is also discussed in Deuteronomy 15.
A sabbatical recognizes the often depleting, 24-hours-a-day nature of full-time pastoral ministry, both on the individual and his family. A sabbatical fulfills the scriptural admonition in I Timothy 5:17 that we are to give honor to those who labor among us.
A sabbatical is an extended time away from the routines of normal ministry and daily life for enrichment, rest, renewal, and personal growth. A sabbatical is a privilege and not a right of employment. Additionally, it is not an extension of vacation, but rather a transformative time away from everyday job responsibilities and the spiritual weight of pastoral leadership.
The purpose of a sabbatical is for mental, physical, relational, and spiritual replenishment to extend the length of time a person can be in ministry and to make his time in ministry more fruitful and energized. A sabbatical helps ensure continued ministry health, professional excellence and Christian faithfulness for the person, their family, and the church.
Activities during a sabbatical may include research, writing, improving skills, completing a project, education, rest, refreshment, travel or a combination of the above. The sabbatical may also include personal and professional development through exposure to and study of new ideas through travel, research, and quiet time alone with God. The sabbatical should be taken at a location that is rejuvenating and include activities that renew and refresh the individual. It is important to have a balance of planned time to read, study, and feed one’s self spiritually. The sabbatical is to also allow time to focus on ministering to one’s family through intentional relational investment.
Journey’s Pastoral Sabbatical Policy //
For these reasons, Journey sends executive pastors on sabbatical for up to a twelve week sabbatical after six years of continuous service as an ordained pastor at Journey Church. Sabbatical is taken during the seventh year of service. The first full year of service in which the sabbatical leave is taken becomes year one of the next series of successive years, as applicable, required for another sabbatical leave.
Fall 2019 // Lead Pastor Sabbatical
With just over a decade removed from Journey's initial launch, God has done more than we ever imagined through the efforts of so many. So many have labored diligently, when no one else was watching, to push the vision forward. Without each sacrifice and God's continual blessing, we certainly would not have gotten this far. Through all the years of labor, one core value that we have had in our hearts is rest. We owe it to one another to push for productivity, but we must also demand rest rhythmically.
We believe that discipline not only applies to work, but to rest. For that reason, the Elder and Administrative Team of Journey Church is excited to send Lead Executive Pastor Dan Reeves on sabbatical from October 4 to December 14, 2019. He will be taking this time to withdraw, prepare, and rest for the next phase of what God is doing at Journey. We've got much planned in his brief absence that will be unfolding in the coming weeks and an enormous amount to lean into along with it in the months and years ahead! Stay tuned!