Are Sabbaticals Necessary?

The Wisdom of Rest


We all work long hours and need times of rest. God has created us all with a need to stop and recharge from time to time. But is there something about the pastorate that requires more rest than other professions? Pastors Richard Phillips and Ryan Kelly sit down with Bob Doll to consider the wisdom and purpose behind offering sabbaticals to local church leadership. 

Richard Phillips is the Senior Minister of the Second Presbyterian Church of Greenville, South Carolina. Ryan Kelly is the Pastor of Preaching at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bob Doll (CFA) is Senior Portfolio Manager and Chief Equity Strategist at Nuveen Asset Management where he manages the Large Cap Equity Series, which includes traditional large cap equities, specialty categories and alternative strategies.


How would you describe a sabbatical? Do you see it having a positive purpose for those involved in pastoral ministry? If not, why?
Log In to Continue

Does your church offer a sabbatical to its pastoral leadership? In light of this discussion, can you identify any changes that should be made? If so, what are they?
Log In to Continue

Would you consider the responsibility and weight of pastoral leadership as requiring more rest than other professions? What are some of the unique characteristics that set it apart?
Log In to Continue

How does your church provide its pastor with the ability to delegate certain responsibilities? Is there potential for improvement? If so, how?
Log In to Continue

While a longterm sabbatical is helpful, it's also wise for churches to implement plans that help a pastor settle into regular rhythms of rest. How does your church help its pastor set aside time to refresh on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis? What changes could be made to provide further opportunities for rest?
Log In to Continue


Today, like any other time in history, we have to plan for rest. It's not something that comes naturally to us, but if we neglect it our ministries will suffer as a result. Pastors face the unique strain of caring for the soul issues of the people God has entrusted to their care. Pray that God would give you wisdom for practicing rhythms of rest and refreshment in your own life and look for ways to grant the pastoral leadership of your church similar opportunities.


For more information about The Gospel Coalition, click here.