Redeemer Adopts Pastoral Sabbatical Policy

Earlier this year, the Session instituted a sabbatical policy to provide our pastors with the opportunity for personal and family refreshment and renewal, as well as to engage in study and other developmental activities that are limited by their commitment to everyday, full-time ministry. Since this policy is new to Redeemer, we wanted to provide you with some information about pastoral sabbaticals in general and Redeemer’s policy in particular.

What is a pastoral sabbatical?

Pastoral sabbaticals are designed as a time to step away from the hectic nature of normal ministerial activity and reflect on where one is individually as a pastor, as part of a family and as part of an organization. They are not meant to be a time when a pastor maps out his preaching schedule for the year or develops a new Sunday school curriculum. Instead, they are intended to include a healthy balance of study, research, reflection, renewal, relaxation and fun.

Sabbaticals are rooted in the creation story (Genesis 2:2-3), reflected in the Sabbath rhythm of rest and renewal in the Ten Commandments, and were evident in Jesus’ practice of taking extended times of prayer, reflection and rest.

Some of the desired outcomes of a sabbatical include:

·         Spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual growth.

·         To reflect and review things more objectively.

·         Rest and a healthy change of venue and pace.

·         Opportunity for the congregation to rest in God’s provision.

What is Redeemer’s new pastoral sabbatical policy?

According to our policy, once one of our pastors completes six years of service, he is eligible for a three-month paid sabbatical. Following that initial sabbatical, subsequent three-month sabbaticals will be awarded on six-year intervals. The Session is not mandating that our pastors take sabbaticals, but we are encouraging them to do so.


If you have any questions about this new policy, please speak with any of Redeemer’s elders.