Pastor Dan’s job description states that the Senior Pastor should take a time of sabbatical after 6 years of ministry. Since Pastor Dan has been with Riverside for over 7 years now, Riverside’s Leadership Team (LT) and Pastoral Relations Committee (PRC) have encouraged Pastor Dan to take a sabbatical from June 15 to August 10 this summer — 8 weeks total. This is the 6 weeks intended for sabbatical combined with Pastor Dan’s regular vacation time. The Sabbatical will begin immediately after Pastor Dan returns from leading Riverside’s mission team to Ecuador. Pastor Dan and his family will travel to visit family in various parts of the U.S. and spend time as a family away from the demands of ministry. The LT and PRC have encouraged Pastor Dan to use this time in whatever ways he finds most restorative.
What is a sabbatical and why is our Pastor taking one?
Sabbatical is a term derived from the biblical concept of the Sabbath. Sabbath is ceasing; it is stopping at regular intervals so we can rest and gain new perspective. To take a sabbatical does not mean there is a problem. To take a sabbatical is to follow a very biblical principle created for us by God. God intended that we would need and take rest. In Genesis God himself worked 6 days and rested. Every 7th year the land was to totally rest without any farming or working the land. The Evangelical Covenant Church has established this same pattern of intended rest for Evangelical Covenant pastors and Pastor Dan was hired knowing that after 6 years of service he would take a sabbatical as outlined by Covenant guidelines.
A sabbatical is an extended period of time set aside to help a pastor gain fresh perspective on the community, congregation, and his family. The sabbatical offers a time of spiritual renewal and a chance to deepen insights on various aspects of the pastor’s life. A sabbatical offers time to be filled again by the One who is the Water of Life. A sabbatical is not a long vacation, but an extended leave from the ministry work which places a 24/7 demand on a pastor’s time and thoughts. A sabbatical will allow Pastor Dan the opportunity to refocus and recharge his sense of call and provide an opportunity to intentionally focus on spiritual replenishment that will lead to renewed vision, passion, mission, and energy.
In Pastor Dan’s absence Riverside’s office will continue to have its usual hours. Babby Porter, Riverside’s Office Manager, will be present to help as needed and will direct questions or concerns to the appropriate staff or Leadership Team member when needs arise. Pastor Dan has arranged with various people, those connected to Riverside through missions and Riverside’s staff and Leadership Team, to teach and minister in his absence. If there are questions about Pastor Dan’s sabbatical time, feel free to contact members of the Leadership Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Pastoral Relations Committee (PRC). Please join the LT and PRC as we pray for refreshment, renewal and rest for Pastor Dan and his family during his time of sabbatical.
Riverside Pastoral Relations Committee