The Value of a Sabbatical…

Many of you know (due to my blog absence and lack of church attendance) that my family and I have been away on a Ministry Sabbatical. Why did we need a Sabbatical? The word Sabbath, of course, means rest. That’s what we needed this month. I actually do believe that Senior Pastors need MORE of it, because of the tireless schedules and demands on us. Every year, as soon as school is out, my entire family pulls back a good bit for a few weeks. We use this time to rest, replenish, and re-energize for the Fall!  What did I do on Sabbatical?

– I rested. Truly rested.
– I played with my kids.
– I hung out with my wife.
– I read. A lot. I read three books while I was away and started two more.
– I still did some work. It was just more of the Strategic and futuristic stuff. I worked ON IT, not IN IT. This kind of work inspires me, not drains me!
– I actually exercised some!

What made it replenishing?

– I didn’t teach for three weeks in a row. I finally miss it!
– I got away from home. When I’m at home, I can’t relax like I want.
– I went to places where I wouldn’t feel like we needed to “run” all the time (aka Disney World is not a great Sabbatical destination).
– I spent extended time with God each day. God and I had some great, unhurried, heart to heart’s.
– What did I learn while on my Sabbatical?
– Jesus can run His church without me. HE is bigger than ME!
– We have a dream team of leaders on our Staff these days who can lead well in my stead!
– God is louder in my life when I am away from the daily grind!

Anyone around me will tell you that I work hard and move fast. One of the keys to sustaining my pace the last twelve years has also been learning to rest hard now and again. How do you rest, replenish and re-energize for the next phase of the harvest God wants to bring into your life?


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