Author Topic: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?  (Read 18915 times)

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Offline Apothecary 4 Christ

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Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« on: Wed Feb 02, 2011 - 17:10:14 »
Brothers and Sisters,

What are your thoughts on the issue of granting full-time Pastors a Sabbatical from time to time (say, every 6 years or so)?  I am talking about a time, separate from regular vacation, in which they have maybe 8 weeks of freedom from regular preaching responsibilities to refresh their souls, do some additional reading, maybe take a brief class, write, etc.

There is, of course, the financial challenge that a small church might have in trying to fill the pulpit for that time.  But beyond that, there is also the additional challenge of folks who may not understand the importance of this.  The questions like: "Why should the Pastor get an extra vacation...I don't?"

Has anyone taken a Sabbatical and could they comment on the benefits, if any?

Any other thoughts on this issue? 

Blessings!

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Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« on: Wed Feb 02, 2011 - 17:10:14 »

HRoberson

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: Fri Feb 04, 2011 - 22:09:29 »
The only issue is "why?" While it is a nice gesture, the plumber in the pew doesn't get a sabbatical. Why should some guy (woman) who essentially has a desk job get one? Most professionals don't get sabbaticals and yet they manage to maintain an educational cycle and figure out how to refresh themselves just fine.

If a preacher wants to take time off, then she probably needs to have the financial resources to do so.

Offline Apothecary 4 Christ

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: Thu Feb 17, 2011 - 15:23:38 »
I wouldn't argue it as a Biblical necessity, but I would suggest it as one possible antidote to the unfortunate "burnout" that seems to come upon many pastors who are serving conscientiously and faithfully.  Academic professors often take sabbaticals, even though they often teach virtually the same material year after year.  A Pastor ministering in the same place to the same people over many years would benefit, in my opinion, from an extended break to refresh his mind and soul.  I am not a full-time pastor, but have dear friends in the ministry, and see how wearing and exhausting the work can be. 

I suppose if the view of the ministry is "essentiall a desk job" then you are right. 

I do not see the work of a pastor in that light. 

Blessings!

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: Thu Feb 17, 2011 - 15:23:38 »

HRoberson

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: Fri Feb 18, 2011 - 22:23:37 »
It really doesn't matter what an academic professor does, or what benefits her union has been able to garner for her. Then again, if a professor in a technical field needs to get some more in depth training, then I suspect time off to do that is fine.

Unfortunately, preachers aren't generally hired to remain on the cutting edge of technical subjects; they get paid to explain in layman's terms something that has been pretty much understood for quite some time now.

But that avoids the question really. Yes, some folks get sabbaticals and yes, mostly in academia. I suspect this thinking is the price we must pay for turning the pastorate into a little academia all its own. The parallels are bound to be drawn.

The fact is though, that most folks don't get sabbaticals, live with just as much stress, and still manage to pay the pastor's salary.

If a pastor is being burned out, I suspect either that she doesn't know how to do her job, or she is refusing to do that job well. Most pastors don't work in construction, or in emergency rooms, or in the military. They read, reflect, and craft and deliver speeches. Some - a dwindling number - actually leave the air conditioned ediface and actually venture into peoples' lives a day or two a week.

Yeah, that's a desk job and it ain't that tough. If it is, we'll hire another one. That ain't tough either.

Offline Apothecary 4 Christ

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: Tue Feb 22, 2011 - 19:57:16 »
LOL.

I guess elders can get burnout too.  And maybe a tad cynical. 

Thanks for the thoughts.

Jason



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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: Tue Feb 22, 2011 - 19:57:16 »



HRoberson

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: Wed Mar 02, 2011 - 18:10:27 »
Well, you're welcome.  ::smile::

Not cynical, just observant.

Offline spiritsong87

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: Fri Mar 04, 2011 - 13:44:42 »
I feel that a sabbatical for pastors is neccessary.   
Just remember accountability too so that the
enemy does not get a foothold.  And, be blessed
and renewed in it!
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HRoberson

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: Fri Mar 04, 2011 - 22:50:03 »
Necessary? Hardly.

Lively Stone

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: Fri Mar 04, 2011 - 22:52:56 »
Brothers and Sisters,

What are your thoughts on the issue of granting full-time Pastors a Sabbatical from time to time (say, every 6 years or so)?  I am talking about a time, separate from regular vacation, in which they have maybe 8 weeks of freedom from regular preaching responsibilities to refresh their souls, do some additional reading, maybe take a brief class, write, etc.

There is, of course, the financial challenge that a small church might have in trying to fill the pulpit for that time.  But beyond that, there is also the additional challenge of folks who may not understand the importance of this.  The questions like: "Why should the Pastor get an extra vacation...I don't?"

Has anyone taken a Sabbatical and could they comment on the benefits, if any?

Any other thoughts on this issue?  

Blessings!

My mother was a pastor in a large church, and she was offered a sabbatical in order for her to be able to devote time to the finishing, and polishing of the writing of the manuscript of her book. As I remember, she took almost a year. It was certainly NOT a vacation at all.

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: Fri Mar 04, 2011 - 22:52:56 »

The Great Baptizmo

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: Fri Mar 04, 2011 - 23:28:25 »
It really doesn't matter what an academic professor does, or what benefits her union has been able to garner for her. Then again, if a professor in a technical field needs to get some more in depth training, then I suspect time off to do that is fine.

Unfortunately, preachers aren't generally hired to remain on the cutting edge of technical subjects; they get paid to explain in layman's terms something that has been pretty much understood for quite some time now.

But that avoids the question really. Yes, some folks get sabbaticals and yes, mostly in academia. I suspect this thinking is the price we must pay for turning the pastorate into a little academia all its own. The parallels are bound to be drawn.

The fact is though, that most folks don't get sabbaticals, live with just as much stress, and still manage to pay the pastor's salary.

If a pastor is being burned out, I suspect either that she doesn't know how to do her job, or she is refusing to do that job well. Most pastors don't work in construction, or in emergency rooms, or in the military. They read, reflect, and craft and deliver speeches. Some - a dwindling number - actually leave the air conditioned ediface and actually venture into peoples' lives a day or two a week.

Yeah, that's a desk job and it ain't that tough. If it is, we'll hire another one. That ain't tough either.

It is the venturing into people's lives that tends to do the burning out.  I thought in the CofC they only had "preachers" and rarely" preaching elders" anyhow.

Offline stevehut

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: Sat Mar 05, 2011 - 01:28:53 »
A sabbatical can be a good thing.  Someone mentioned that a person with a desk job doesn't need one.  I can tell you that our pastor certainly doesn't have such an easy routine; he's a former contractor, so when something breaks in the building he's the first to roll up his sleeves and fix it himself if he can.

As for the financial burden of filling the pulpit in the meantime?  I'm always distressed when I hear something like that.  If you don't have at least a handful of men in the congregation who can pinch-hit from time to time, you shouldn't be in business.  No one person should ever be THAT indispensable in a church.

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: Sat Mar 05, 2011 - 08:40:24 »
It really doesn't matter what an academic professor does, or what benefits her union has been able to garner for her. Then again, if a professor in a technical field needs to get some more in depth training, then I suspect time off to do that is fine.

Unfortunately, preachers aren't generally hired to remain on the cutting edge of technical subjects; they get paid to explain in layman's terms something that has been pretty much understood for quite some time now.

But that avoids the question really. Yes, some folks get sabbaticals and yes, mostly in academia. I suspect this thinking is the price we must pay for turning the pastorate into a little academia all its own. The parallels are bound to be drawn.

The fact is though, that most folks don't get sabbaticals, live with just as much stress, and still manage to pay the pastor's salary.

If a pastor is being burned out, I suspect either that she doesn't know how to do her job, or she is refusing to do that job well. Most pastors don't work in construction, or in emergency rooms, or in the military. They read, reflect, and craft and deliver speeches. Some - a dwindling number - actually leave the air conditioned ediface and actually venture into peoples' lives a day or two a week.

Yeah, that's a desk job and it ain't that tough. If it is, we'll hire another one. That ain't tough either.


He's also a poor tipper folks.   ::tippinghat::

Offline OldDad

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: Sat Mar 05, 2011 - 08:45:02 »
I couldn't care less whether some cynical, sarcastic saint thinks I just sit at a desk in an air conditioned edifice and "crafts sermons on stuff that everybody already knows" (Is that the new way to make the hoary old joke that pastors only work one day a week?)

Let me accumulate vacation time at the same rate as the members who work as professionals, factory workers, whatever - an average of 5 days for each year of service - and in 6 or 7 years, I can take my own paid sabbatical.

Pretty simple really.

Lively Stone

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: Sat Mar 05, 2011 - 15:16:54 »
It really doesn't matter what an academic professor does, or what benefits her union has been able to garner for her. Then again, if a professor in a technical field needs to get some more in depth training, then I suspect time off to do that is fine.

Unfortunately, preachers aren't generally hired to remain on the cutting edge of technical subjects; they get paid to explain in layman's terms something that has been pretty much understood for quite some time now.

But that avoids the question really. Yes, some folks get sabbaticals and yes, mostly in academia. I suspect this thinking is the price we must pay for turning the pastorate into a little academia all its own. The parallels are bound to be drawn.

The fact is though, that most folks don't get sabbaticals, live with just as much stress, and still manage to pay the pastor's salary.

If a pastor is being burned out, I suspect either that she doesn't know how to do her job, or she is refusing to do that job well. Most pastors don't work in construction, or in emergency rooms, or in the military. They read, reflect, and craft and deliver speeches. Some - a dwindling number - actually leave the air conditioned ediface and actually venture into peoples' lives a day or two a week.

Yeah, that's a desk job and it ain't that tough. If it is, we'll hire another one. That ain't tough either.


He's also a poor tipper folks.   ::tippinghat::

I'll have you know our pastors are GREAT tippers, and they teach us about being generous. If your pastors aren't worthy of emulation, I feel for you.

As far as sabbaticals go, if our pastors need one, they'd get one. We make sure, however, that they get great regular vacations so they never become overburdened. However, they guard their time well, keeping the one day off they have in the week free, and their days are very busy, but daily downtime and family time is precious.

With everyone in the congegation giving a great financial donation toward a monetary Christmas gift because we just love them, our senior pastors use that money toward a wonderful trip far, far away every year!
« Last Edit: Sat Mar 05, 2011 - 15:25:45 by Lively Stone »

HRoberson

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: Fri Mar 11, 2011 - 23:55:18 »
It really doesn't matter what an academic professor does, or what benefits her union has been able to garner for her. Then again, if a professor in a technical field needs to get some more in depth training, then I suspect time off to do that is fine.

Unfortunately, preachers aren't generally hired to remain on the cutting edge of technical subjects; they get paid to explain in layman's terms something that has been pretty much understood for quite some time now.

But that avoids the question really. Yes, some folks get sabbaticals and yes, mostly in academia. I suspect this thinking is the price we must pay for turning the pastorate into a little academia all its own. The parallels are bound to be drawn.

The fact is though, that most folks don't get sabbaticals, live with just as much stress, and still manage to pay the pastor's salary.

If a pastor is being burned out, I suspect either that she doesn't know how to do her job, or she is refusing to do that job well. Most pastors don't work in construction, or in emergency rooms, or in the military. They read, reflect, and craft and deliver speeches. Some - a dwindling number - actually leave the air conditioned ediface and actually venture into peoples' lives a day or two a week.

Yeah, that's a desk job and it ain't that tough. If it is, we'll hire another one. That ain't tough either.


He's also a poor tipper folks.   ::tippinghat::
I thought we went through this? I tip pretty darn well - as long as the iced tea doesn't run out.  ::smile:: ::help::

HRoberson

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #15 on: Fri Mar 11, 2011 - 23:58:02 »
I couldn't care less whether some cynical, sarcastic saint thinks I just sit at a desk in an air conditioned edifice and "crafts sermons on stuff that everybody already knows" (Is that the new way to make the hoary old joke that pastors only work one day a week?)

Let me accumulate vacation time at the same rate as the members who work as professionals, factory workers, whatever - an average of 5 days for each year of service - and in 6 or 7 years, I can take my own paid sabbatical.

Pretty simple really.
Actually, our ministry staff accrues vacation time - and professional education time - and additional time for conferences - and even more time for "speaking" engagements pretty well.

They're doing quite well, thank you. But, why do you compare your compensation package to worldly professionals? How are the two the same? ::frown::

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #16 on: Mon Mar 14, 2011 - 13:32:06 »
rofl

Coming to a theater near you . . .

"STIFFED!!! - The Life and Times of HRoberson".   

HRoberson

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #17 on: Mon Mar 14, 2011 - 23:18:13 »
 ::noworries::

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #18 on: Tue Mar 15, 2011 - 11:08:27 »
I'm thinking that if a preacher (or anyone else) is looking at burnout, then the solution is to really pile it on them for a little while.  Then, when it gets back to normal workload it will feel like they're taking a break.  Maybe it's a bit of the ol' "whippings will continue until morale improves" school of thought.

HRoberson

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #19 on: Tue Mar 15, 2011 - 20:03:29 »
I'm thinking that if a preacher (or anyone else) is looking at burnout, then the solution is to really pile it on them for a little while.  Then, when it gets back to normal workload it will feel like they're taking a break.  Maybe it's a bit of the ol' "whippings will continue until morale improves" school of thought.
That's what vacation time is for - to make sure you don't "burn out." Maybe assembly line workers should get sabbaticals in addition to their vacation time? Surely, God loves them as much as He loves preachers. Hmmm....?  ::doh::

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #20 on: Wed Mar 16, 2011 - 07:32:40 »
I'm thinking that if a preacher (or anyone else) is looking at burnout, then the solution is to really pile it on them for a little while.  Then, when it gets back to normal workload it will feel like they're taking a break.  Maybe it's a bit of the ol' "whippings will continue until morale improves" school of thought.
That's what vacation time is for - to make sure you don't "burn out." Maybe assembly line workers should get sabbaticals in addition to their vacation time? Surely, God loves them as much as He loves preachers. Hmmm....?  ::doh::

No, you're getting it backwards.  Don't give the assembly line workers sabbaticals to prevent burn out, pile extra work on them for a while and then going back to a regular work load will be a piece of cake.

HRoberson

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #21 on: Fri Mar 18, 2011 - 00:02:01 »
You're such a cute old man. ::smile::

Especially when you start getting ridiculous. ::kissing::

Offline Mere Nick

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Re: Sabbaticals for Pastors - Your thoughts?
« Reply #22 on: Fri Mar 18, 2011 - 09:35:23 »
 ::headscratch::

 

     
anything