Encouragement Needed for Personal Time Off

bobinfaith

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Hello brothers and sisters at CFS;

Is anyone here a Pastor, or in church leadership? Or, can anyone share their experience of your church pastor taking time off or a sabbatical?

During the last 9 years I haven't taking any time off. In the last 4 months I feel I arrived at a crossroads with my full time pastoral ministry and need a break. I'm very tired. I also felt this way sometime in 2018 and then in 2019.

During the last two years I spoke with my personal mentor. He is a clinical counselor and seasoned pastor and he strongly suggested that since I have been working for almost 9 years without ever taking a vacation or sabbatical, I may be over due.

Problem was, in 2018 and 2019 I couldn't take time off from seminary with my final requirements to graduate. After my final class last December I finished school.

I spoke with my wife and she is totally supportive, but am listening to my counselor and church board.

I also wanted to get your thoughts here at CFS and thank you if you can share with me.
 
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Via dolarossa

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Bob, I can’t help you as I’m not a pastor,
But I hope you get to put your little feet up for a few weeks and your wife cook you lovely pies and cups of teas and tuck you up in bed as you’ve been a great help on here you helped me get saved
Xxx
 
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AtomicSnowflake

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Is anyone here a Pastor, or in church leadership?
I am not... but I am close to several who are. And I have heard them talk about this. I have not heard any one of them say anything other than, when you need a break... take it.
You need time to rest, "recover", & "recharge". It is just as much of a responsibility to do this, as anything! You cannot continue to be an effective worker for God, (or anyone else - including yourself & others), if you neglect to allow yourself to rest when it's time. Many people find this very difficult to do.

There is a season of rest for everything... including you! (If someone were asking you the same question you have asked.... how would you reply? What scriptures might you look at? What example(s) in the Bible would you think about?)

I'll be keeping you in prayer on this.
 
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Hello brothers and sisters at CFS;

Is anyone here a Pastor, or in church leadership? Or, can anyone share their experience of your church pastor taking time off or a sabbatical?

During the last 9 years I haven't taking any time off. In the last 4 months I feel I arrived at a crossroads with my full time pastoral ministry and need a break. I'm very tired. I also felt this way sometime in 2018 and then in 2019.

During the last two years I spoke with my personal mentor. He is a clinical counselor and seasoned pastor and he strongly suggested that since I have been working for almost 9 years without ever taking a vacation or sabbatical, I may be over due.

Problem was, in 2018 and 2019 I couldn't take time off from seminary with my final requirements to graduate. After my final class last December I finished school.

I spoke with my wife and she is totally supportive, but am listening to my counselor and church board.

I also wanted to get your thoughts here at CFS and thank you if you can share with me.
Hello, bobinfaith. I am a pastor. I have taken short retreats where I have simply gone to a quiet beautiful cabin or place to stay. In that time I was able to spend much time in reflection and prayer with just the Lord. After several days on my own I had my wife join me for some quality time together.

Also as a minister I have gone with other ministers or with my wife and a couple of other members on spiritual journeys. They are wonderful. On those journeys we stop in little towns, lift others in prayer, lift churches in prayer as we pass them, we have lifted small businesses as led. We have stopped in graveyards and prayed for families that have recently lost loved ones. It is a time of refreshing but also a time of great power. We usually go with no set destination in mind, just going as led.

These are two suggestions. Also at times I also take vacations with my wife. There is always a need to be refreshed and strengthened.
 
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There is nothing wrong with enjoying some time to rest. I do wish to explain how some of our congregation members feel, as it might help you in some way. I do hear mutterings from members that our pastor and his wife take too many vacations. He is retired air force, and serves our congregation. She is a teacher, and our music/choir director. Do I feel they take too many? Yes; they take three to five a year. Our church is not growing, but has been shrinking over the years. Even I do not attend with the passion and vigor I once had. We have a lot of problems like many smaller churches with less than 100 members. However in your case you don't take any time off for yourself. Is there such a thing as being too dedicated to the Lord? NO.
Is there such a thing as being to burnt out to serve your congregation with the spirit of energy you need? YES.

My point is you do need to find a happy medium for yourself, and your congregation. If our own pastor had this mindset, we wouldn't have lost so many members to other area churches. People like me would wish to be active members, if he had half the dedication you do. Kudos Bob; Im sure our Father in heaven blesses you and your congregation beyond measure.

Much love, and take a vacation!!!
 

rtm3039

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Hello brothers and sisters at CFS;

Is anyone here a Pastor, or in church leadership? Or, can anyone share their experience of your church pastor taking time off or a sabbatical?

During the last 9 years I haven't taking any time off. In the last 4 months I feel I arrived at a crossroads with my full time pastoral ministry and need a break. I'm very tired. I also felt this way sometime in 2018 and then in 2019.

During the last two years I spoke with my personal mentor. He is a clinical counselor and seasoned pastor and he strongly suggested that since I have been working for almost 9 years without ever taking a vacation or sabbatical, I may be over due.

Problem was, in 2018 and 2019 I couldn't take time off from seminary with my final requirements to graduate. After my final class last December I finished school.

I spoke with my wife and she is totally supportive, but am listening to my counselor and church board.

I also wanted to get your thoughts here at CFS and thank you if you can share with me.
Well, I am not a pastor, but I did say at a Holiday Inn once. There is nothing wrong with taking some time off. My church has a lead pastor, but also a campus pastor, a teaching pastor, and several visiting pastors. It is very common for each to take some time off. You all need a break just like everyone else.

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:30-31 New International Version (NIV))

rtm3039
 
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It has been said somewhere that today's churches are a lot like a football game (at least those of the pre-covid world): Stadium full of fans in desperate need of exercise watching a few athletes in desperate need of rest.

I would submit that you cannot do your congregation better good in the Lords long run than pausing and refreshing your outlook, gathering strength to continue. It is also likely that as you have been working so much that your relationship with your wife could be strengthened by spending time with and on the one that supports you and that you support.
 
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1 Kings: 5-8

And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him "Arise and eat." And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came a second time and touched him again and said "Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you". And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

My point being, he had a good rest, he ate and drank, then he had another big rest, and another meal.

You're no good to anyone when your exhausted.

(y)Take a break, and DO NOT feel bad about it.
 
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bobinfaith

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Hello, Brothers and sisters;

I am so blessed by your love for Christ, concern and wise feedback. Yes, I am tired.

After praying since last December God has made it more obvious that I need that time off. My wife supports our decision whole heartedly.

As some of you said I'm no good to anyone if I'm this tired. Well, I'm this tired.

I'm going to schedule to speak with our Board and Pastoral leaders and make my announcement. I know everyone has their ministry and other responsibilities but will ask everyone to please "step up" with any time they can give to help while I'm gone.

I plan to take 3 months off mid June through mid September, God willing.

Please continue to pray for the meeting.

God bless you all and your families. Thank you!
 
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I will pray for you Bob, if you worried about someone filling in God has got this and it will be good for others to step in or up while you are away.

In my church our senior pastor goes on spiritual retreats and I think at least once a year he has a week or two off to recharge, or visit other family etc. Just like in schools teachers do not teach the entire year they have breaks/holidays, and also relievers, so I think pastors and ministers ought to as well.
 

bobinfaith

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I will pray for you Bob, if you worried about someone filling in God has got this and it will be good for others to step in or up while you are away.
In my church our senior pastor goes on spiritual retreats and I think at least once a year he has a week or two off to recharge, or visit other family etc. Just like in schools teachers do not teach the entire year they have breaks/holidays, and also relievers, so I think pastors and ministers ought to as well.
Also congratulations on finishing school you have now graduated and must celebrate!!
We do have a young servant (a Timothy) who just finished seminary this month. He is 30 and engaged, and is open to the opportunity to fill in for me. We're praying he and his future wife will become regular members.

Giving God All The Glory, after 15 years of seminary I finished my final, final class last December.

God bless you and thank you, Lanolin.
 
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bobinfaith

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Thank you, brothers and sisters for your encouragement and prayers.

Today at church I announced my 3 month sabbatical starting Monday, June 29th to September 29th. Early on I felt I was making a decision and then seeking God's approval, instead of the other way around. So I took a step back and asked God what He says first.

These last weeks after the support of Hazel and the ministry, I feel comfortable, it feels right with God regarding my decision.

Does that make sense?

So what will I do for 3 months? First, no church work. Period.

Second, relax and have fun. Literally. My personal counselor and mentor pastor told me when he took a sabbatical he enjoyed horse back riding and fishing in Missouri.

I plan to take walks along the beach. I enjoy listening to the waves. Its good therapy for me. Taking walks with my Dad at Balboa Park in San Diego and just having long talks with him. This will also be a good time to get some things done around the house for Hazel and me.

Third, get refreshed. Not just for the church but for my wife and myself. Next year we'll stop and make plans (within our budget) to go somewhere for relaxation.

God is Amazing. I really feel He prompted me to rest.
 
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bobinfaith

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God bless you, my brothers and sisters at Christian Forum Site;

I'm officially on sabbatical. I flew alone from San Francisco to San Diego this morning, the 29th and will stay until August 31. Then in September will spend my 3rd month back home resting and doing things aside from church work.

My wife has to report back to work on July 1 but she supports my time alone.

Thank you and will keep you all in my prayers daily. Enjoy the fellowship here at CFS and will be back end of September.