Rx for Churches Creating a Sabbatical Policy
– Qualifications: Specify what roles this covers (lead pastor only?), when it can happen (after X years of service at that church), and for how long (X months).
– Budget: Be clear about who pays for travel, education or other expenses, when, and what documentation is necessary.
– Goals: Set measurable written objectives or expectations for the sabbatical period.
– Communication: How will the sabbatical be announced to the congregation, and what report is expected after the sabbatical concludes, and to whom?
– Ethics: Have an honest quiet conversation about the pastor’s future and fit in the church. Some pastors take a sabbatical in order to secretly look for another church position, resigning as soon as they return.