Sabbatical Idea for Pastors

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Challenges with the traditional sabbatical format

Traditional sabbatical models provide a pastor with 3-6 months off to pursue training and renewal.  This requires significant investment both in salary plus the cost of training.  When the sabbatical is complete, re-entry to the church can be challenging – the pastor has changed, the church has changed, there may be power tensions and vision shift.  Often this results in the pastor leaving, creating an environment in which church boards are reluctant to grant any kind of sabbatical leave.

Another challenge is when the pastor is given a sabbatical, but a few months after returning is feeling just they did before the sabbatical. Why? Because they did not actually change how they lived; they just had a rest.

The CREST Alternative

Pastors and key ministry leaders do need some kind of sabbatical reprieve from the rigours of full-time ministry. But they also must make a significant shift in how they live in order to not simply repeat an unsustainable lifestyle. This deep, inner shift is exactly what CREST helps mid-life leaders understand, and we offer a way to actually make the shift.

As an alternative to the traditional model, The CREST Leadership Certificate Program can provide the needed training and refreshment components while preserving the relationship with the church during the process.

Sabbaticals need a balance of rest and learning.  A suggested way to incorporate the CREST program into a sabbatical is:

Rest Learn Rest
4 days, including Sunday CREST Encounter 3 days 4 days, including Sunday

By combining rest and preparation days prior to each three-day Encounter a leader could receive 66 days of sabbatical leave (over two years) at a fraction of the cost of traditional models while still providing leadership to the church.

Click the links to the right  to read two pastor’s experiences with this model: