Matthew Lee Anderson on Piper’s leave of absence

Chris —  March 28, 2010

I am thankful for a church that is allowing me to take a sabbatical this summer.  Commenting on John Piper announcement that he has been granted an 8 month leave of absence, Anderson explains some of the reasons why a sabbatical is so important.  Does your church make sure your pastor is renewed?  Perhaps, this is a post to pass on to your church elders? 

I for one am thrilled to hear that John Piper has asked for, and been granted, an eight month leave from each of his ministries.

But I don’t quite know why I’m so excited by his decision.  After all, eight months is a relatively short amount of time, and I don’t know Piper at all.

But I suspect there’s a lesson here that all evangelical pastors and their churches need to pay attention to.  And I hope that Piper’s influence can help them learn it.

Growing up within evangelicalism, I saw almost no emphasis on sabbatical periods for pastors, especially in those evangelical communities that have under 200 members and a small support staff.  For them, sabbaticals require a greater level of sacrifice by the whole church community, as most pastors fill roles well beyond the pulpit.

Read the rest here.

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6 responses to Matthew Lee Anderson on Piper’s leave of absence

  1. WOW – did you know about this before yesterday’s post on how busy pastors are! Our family will be praying for Piper’s family and all of the other busy pastors we know as well!!

  2. Clarice, I didn’t know about this before.

  3. But how many lay-people will be given 8 month sabbaticals to work on their marriages and do they really work much less (some certainly work more). If Pastors can’t keep their marriages together without sabbaticals what hope can they offer to their people?

  4. Tim, I think it’s relevant that Piper has been at his post for something like 35 years. And, he has given all the revenue from his writing back into the ministry. Further, I don’t think many people’s schedules compare with Piper’s.

    I agree that it wouldn’t be acceptable for your average pastor to ask for 8 months off to work on his marriage.

  5. Yes, Chris, I agree.I’m not objecting to Piper’s situation. I’m sure he “deserves” retirement by this point. I’m just need to be prepared for my wife when the idea gets planted in her head.

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