The word "sabbatical" is derived from "Sabbath," and is an extended ceasing of ministry work. Sabbaticals provide a minister with space for prayer, rest, study, and decision-making. And, when implemented with wisdom and intention, create an opportunity to develop greater self-awareness, spiritual depth, and a renewed energy and zeal for ministry work.

Image by Jan Kahánek

One of the potentially difficult aspects of sabbaticals is advocating for yourself. By developing a sabbatical policy with your church staff, eldership, and board you can create a proactive culture of minister health. To begin this process start here with our helpful guide to creating a sabbatical policy.

Image by Robert  Zunikoff

Coaching is highly encouraged for those who are considering embarking on the journey toward sabbatical. Waters of Rest offers sabbatical coaching for ministry staff, church boards, and congregations. Learn more about sabbatical coaching and contact us for  information on how we can provide experienced help.

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Helpful guides, retreats, and Biblical teaching through the Soul Shepherding Institue.

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Educational programs, preventative coaching, crisis intervention, and renewal for ministers.​

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LeaderCare Online exists to promote the spiritual renewal, emotional health, and relational holiness of Christian ministry leaders and their spouses.

Recommended Reading

  • Leading on Empty by Wayne Cordeiro

  • Clergy Renewal by A. Richard Bullock, Richard J. Bruesehoff

  • Sabbaticals by Rusty McKie

  • Journeying Toward Renewal by Melissa Ban Sevier

Download our sabbatical policy guidebook

The need for sabbatical rest amongst the ministers in our fellowship is real! Joel Peed has been at the forefront of carrying that message through both sermons and personal conversations. Joel was available and helpful for our leadership group here in Madison Wisconsin. He was able to help them grasp the need for my wife and I to have an extended rest after 25 years without a break. He and his wife Christy were quite generous with their time and wisdom in helping Carol and I come up with practical plans for the three month time away. I experienced symptoms of real burnout which turned physical with an unrelenting headache. I am deeply grateful for Joel's dedication and insight into this much misunderstood need!

-Tom Nuelle, Madison Church of Christ