The church suffers when its pastor feels burnt out, exhausted or spiritually empty. Providing a sabbatical is a key way to ensure that pastors flourish for the long run of ministry.


In this episode, Pastoral Ministry Strategist Sandy Marks sits down with Chris Turner, senior pastor of Neill’s Creek Baptist Church in Angier, and Gary Mayes, former executive director of Church Next Ministries and Consulting, to discuss the benefits of pastoral sabbaticals, their own experiences in church sabbaticals and how to maximize the sabbatical to ensure long-term health for the pastor and the church.

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Podcast Highlights:

  • “(As a pastor) you experience a lot, you carry a lot. There’s demands physically, spiritually, emotionally over time. All of that can kind of compound in a way that may be different than any other profession or vocation.” (7:47)
  • “I think that one of the greatest risks is people want to prove that they’re valuing the sabbatical by over-functioning. And I mean some people swap work under a different name.” (23:13)
  • “A sabbatical is not a last ditch effort to save a church and a pastor, where things are spiraling … This works best when the church is healthy enough for the pastor to step away. And this (needs) to be an investment in that pastor’s health and longevity.” (31:10)

The work of pastoral ministry can be a long, difficult journey. Consider these five reasons to give your pastor a sabbatical as he fulfills God’s calling on his life.