On behalf of my pastor friends here and abroad, I have launched a blog designed to assist church elders, Boards of Directors, senior leadership, and pastors to more easily handle the concepts of ministerial sabbaticals.

The MCA Board of Directors, several years ago, joyfully approved a three month break from all work for me. I didn’t realize the actual condition of my mind and body and or the tiredness in my soul. The three month interlude was pivotal in my pastoral experience.

One of the common complaints about pastors is about their tendency to move every few years. I wish I had a dollar for every statistic I have heard about the “average pastor only stays at a church for ________ years.” Whatever the actuality is, it is a shorter tenure than most folks consider healthy and helpful.

Maybe a pastor’s moving from time to time is a type of sabbatical. Farmers have known for thousands of years about the high value in crop rotation and requiring land to lay fallow every seventh year. A pastoral resignation might be a sort of unplanned “crop rotation.”

Many pastors are very different from the “few years and out” model. Currently I am pastoring in the same congregation for 28 rewarding and enjoyable years. Many pastors have served their local congregation much longer than me. Here at our hats are off to all long term pastors.

Every seventh year the dirt, in Old Testament times, was designed by God to lie fallow. In other words, every seventh year was the dirt’s year off. Thus, our goal is to get your pastor treated as good as dirt.

We will feature the lives and stories of various pastors, board members, and church members who have reaped the benefits of a sabbatical and will share the ups and downs of the journey.

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