Continuing with the idea of Sabbath, we need yearly breaks as well as weekly ones. In the Old Testament we find the notion that every seventh year was supposed to be a year of rest for the land, the animals and all of the people. God promised to sustain the nation during this time if they would be faithful not to work. We don’t have any biblical record that this actually happened, but we know that God thinks it is a good idea.
My current schedule has me taking a one week vacation in the spring followed by a two week vacation right before the school and church year pick up in the fall. I haven’t been in ministry long enough to have my seventh year completely off, but I think scheduling sabbaticals is a brilliant idea. I would think that after 6 years of ministry a three to six month sabbatical would be a wonderful thing for the church as well as the pastor. The church would find that it can maintain and even grow in the pastor’s absence and the pastor gets a chance to seek the Lord in an intense and rejuvenating way.
What do you say? Have you ever taken a sabbatical? How was it and will you do it again?