Planning For A Break

Posted: February 18, 2010 in Balance, Development, Soul Care, Youth Ministry

A few months ago I approched my Sr. Pastor about taking a sabbatical. I will be at my church for 7 years this summer. I was looking at doing my sabbatical next summer…the summer of my 8th year of full-time ministry at this church. By definition, a sabbatical is every 7 years. So I think I’m right on track.

What’s really exciting is this will be my first one! In talking to my Sr. Pastor I was trying to figure out what I needed to do to get the ball rolling. Here’s what he told me. I have to get a proposal into our Elder Board by this summer. This is to give them a picture of what I would like to do and how much money I will be asking for. This proposal must include my purpose for the trip along with my plan of how I will be accomplishing my purpose and goals. For example, any trips, retreats, conferences, or classes I would like to attend. If I want, a book list.

Now for my brainstorming part. There are 3 purposes I am considering for this sabbatical. 1) Family time. The time of this sabbatical will be over my 10 year wedding anniversary. I long for a nice vacation to celebrate! Also, to spend A LOT of time with my 2 little boys who I absolutely adore. 2) Ministry Development. I am wanting to get into the study of learning Christian Leadership. There are a number of Master’s programs out there that are very interesting.  3) Personal/Spiritual Renewal. Here’s where my book list would come into play. I like reading…especially books that challenge me. I have always wanted to take a silent retreat. I really think this would be a great experience. If you haven’t heard of Pastors On Point, you need to check them out. This is a trip I’ve been trying to take for about 2 years. Maybe over this sabbatical I will have that opportunity.

Here’s what I still need to figure out…when? When am I going to take this 3 month sabbatical? As a youth pastor, the summer doesn’t really make sense because that is when ministry really slows down and I would have no time to prep and plan for the fall. The fall doesn’t make sense because that is where the momentum for the year begins. I don’t want to miss that.  Winter? Well, I don’t really know if I want this to be over the coldest part of our year here in Minnesota. I love being outside and I won’t be able to go out much with it being 0 degrees or less. Spring could work. It isn’t too hot. The cold is finally leaving. I would get experience the re-growth of nature. I would just need to figure out what would be available as far as retreat, conferences, etc.

Well, there you have it. If you have any suggestions, thoughts, or comments about how I should go about my planning, books to read, conferences to attend, retreats to take, etc. Please let me know!

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