27 Jun
2011

Plan A Clergy Sabbatical

Pastors, are you hiding your light under a bushel? No! Let it shine.

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Every pastor has God-given talents to be shared with more people than just those in your congregation. Let your light shine.

Congregations and clergy become better equipped for ministry when they look outward rather than inward. I want to tell you about a unique way your congregation and you (the pastor) can share yourselves with another congregation and pastor. It’s called a home and ministry swap. Sometimes it is referred to as a home and ministry exchange. Regardless of what you call it, this benefits the pastors and their families, as well as their congregations.

In the early church, people were mission-minded. They were always looking for ways to bring others to Christ. We need to do the same. And most churches want to do this.

But, it is hard work. And everyone gets tired – and restless. The solution? Well, one solution is for every congregation to make sure their pastor takes a sabbatical for 1-3 months every couple of years or so. OK – that doesn’t strike you as “realistic”? Then, make sure the sabbatical takes place at least every 6-7 years.

The home and ministry swap puts this within just about everyone’s reach.

Two pastors swap homes and pastoral duties. No money changes hands.

The pastors get some time for renewal. The congregation gets a short-term visiting pastor. The lay leadership of two congregations gains self-confidence and experience leading (without their pastor standing nearby to tell them what to do or to do what they should be doing). All this at no cost. The travel expenses are the responsibility of the pastors.—unless their congregation wants to add this to their pastor’s continuing education allowance. Maybe there is a registration fee of $100 with an online home exchange service. But that is probably less than the cost of a night’s lodging at a hotel—and less than what it would cost to pay someone for pulpit supply for a Sunday.

Pastor you have gifts to share with others. Church leaders, you have something to offer to pastors who would be happy to fill in while your pastor is taking a sabbatical.

The sabbatical home swap is a win-win. So, everybody, go ahead – Let your light shine!

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Sabbatical Home Swap

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