Never Let Your Pastor Take A Sabbatical… (Infuse Leadership Podcast)

The newest episode of the Infuse Leadership Podcast is now available on iTunes, on our website HERE and also right here on the blog.  The title of this episode is “Never Let Your Pastor Take A Sabbatical”… Unless you want him to come back revitalized, inspired and renewed.

I recently got back from a three month sabbatical that our church blessed our family with and we wanted to, not only share what a sabbatical was and why we took it, but to talk about some things I learned on the sabbatical as well.  In this podcast I talk about some of the feelings I had on sabbatical and how the church responded as well, but mostly about some things God taught me or reminded me of while on the sabbatical.

The links to listen are below, as well as some key thoughts from the Podcast.  If you use iTunes, please rate and review the podcast to help spread the word about what God is doing!

Apple iTunes link HERE.

Online link HERE.

1.  I would attend a Mormon Church —  “Not only was the Mormon Church the nicest looking church in town, it was the nicest looking building in town.”

During the sabbatical I took a prayer trip with a friend of mine through every county in Wyoming.  It took us three days to complete.  At each county line we would stop and pray over that county, for God to elevate, expand and reinforce the credibility of HIS Church in that county.

While on our travels we drove through dozens of Wyoming towns and nearly every one of them had a Mormon Church.  I thought, “Man, if I knew nothing about God or the Church but had a need arise in my life that caused me to reach out to a church, I would probably go to the Mormon Church.”

People will quote to me the Scripture, 1 Samuel 16:7 “Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.”  We’re not trying to reach God, we’re trying to reach people and people look at the outward appearance.

2.  You either trust your staff for a sabbatical or you don’t trust them at all —  

If I don’t trust my staff to run the ministry while I’m away, then I don’t really trust them while I’m there.  Going away for three months forced us to figure out whether I trust them or not.

Jared shared some great thoughts as well on how the confidence of the staff grew as they saw the trust I had in them.

3.  We’re a small part of a much greater story —   

It’s easy in ministry to get your blinders on and forget you are a part of a greater story.

God was not any more evident or present in any specific size, style or shape of ministry we went to on sabbatical.  I was reminded so much of God’s grander Kingdom.  It was amazing to encounter the move of God in so many unique ways.

4.  We all need the Church —

It became brutal not having a church family over the summer.  Our family took a break for OUR church but we didn’t take a break from Church.  For the first time in my lifetime I had a choice on where we go to church each week.  I’m a pastor and was raised a pastors kid so where I go to church each week is decided for me.  The lack of connection to our church family became a much needed thing for us.  We were being fed each week, but we weren’t connected to the body.  Jared shared some great insight on the connection between being spiritually dry and not being plugged into the ministry of the church.

It was good for me as a Christian to understand how important the Local Church is.  I needed my church.  We couldn’t wait to be back.

5.  The vision of the church was lived out in me —  

Our vision at Element Church is to be a life-giving, movement of people having such an impact that if we were gone our communities would miss us.  On one of the last weeks of our sabbatical I was riding in the car with my daughter and it just hit me, “The vision of our church was lived out in me.”  I talked with my daughter about how we all missed the church SO much on sabbatical.  Literally, it was gone from us and we missed it!  It was such a cool reminder to me of the power of the vision of our church.  The church was not there and we desperately missed it.





Jeff Maness
I am a follower of Jesus first, husband to a beautiful wife, father to four amazing children, lead pastor of Element Church in Cheyenne, WY, and blogger of all things life.

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