- Priority: Make sabbatical a priority in your planning for the next year. If you don’t, life and ministry will push it off the calendar.
- Planning: Start early and bring all the players to the table, including your spouse. Give yourself one month to plan for each week of sabbatical. This will allow for the scheduling of counseling, conferences, classes, retreats, and travel well in advance. This will also allow you time to effectively communicate with the church body and address any fears and questions they may have.
- Length: We recommend no less than 8 wks. and prefer to see 12 wks. in most cases. This allows the mind a week at the beginning and end to disconnect and reengage thinking about ministry.
- Timing: While there is no “perfect” time to take a sabbatical, there are better times, usually during natural lulls in the ministry calendar. This may depend on your role in the church, but many land in the summer months, from May to August.
- Goals: Start with a simple question: What do you want to look like at the end of the sabbatical? A balanced plan will have each of the following, but your specific needs will dictate the overall direction:
Relationships: God, Family, Friends.
Reflection: Internal Processing.
Retooling: Increase the Skill-set.
Research: Dig deep in to heart issues.
And please remember, you are not in this alone. NCD Pastoral Care is here to walk with you through your sabbatical from start to finish. Just give us a call.
Kelley Johnson NCD Pastoral Care