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.