Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I know lots of professions don’t get extended time off. But I have a few friends who have been given a 3 month Sabbatical by their churches recently. No one in youth ministry- just those at the teaching or senior pastor level. I’d be lying if I wasn’t a tad bit jealous. That sounds really refreshing.

  • I’d go camping.
  • I’d read.
  • I’d sleep.
  • I’d play with my kids.
  • I’d build a shed.
  • I’d wash my car.
  • I’d organize my workshop.
  • I’d go through my iphoto library, organize it, delete some, and print family event books.
  • I’d sleep.
  • I’d exercise.
  • I’d go for a bike ride.
  • I’d take my kayak out.
  • I’d take a week of surfing lessons.
  • I’d sleep.

Man that sounds nice.

I’m in my 15th year as a youth pastor. I’ve taken lots of family vacations, time off work to do projects at home, spent lots of weekends and an occasional week with my wife. But the longest single stint is about 14 days in a row camping over the summer.

Next week is a whole week at summer camp which means this week has been crazy and we have no weekend service the first week in July due to us being gone at that trip.

Then I return to relax for a day.
Then I spend a day packing.
Then I plan for the fall for 2 days in my office.
Then I do yard work for a day.

Then the next day I leave for Uganda for 10 days of missions trip with my family and a team of 15 from our high school ministry. Then the team will come home and I’ll be there for additional 10 days with my family- meeting my parents and my sisters family who will already be there. All in all, I’ll be gone for 4 sundays for that trip. The end result is that I’m not teaching to high school students in our weekend service for 6 weeks, the longest single stint I’ve had off of teaching in 14 plus years of ministry.

I wonder if it will feel like a refreshing Sabbatical?

I’m working hard in the coming weeks to be able to truly leave and forget about my home concerns for a solid 21 days. When I get back, I got almost straight into a 2 day leadership conference with out church staff and then right directly into the fall launch of our ministry, coaching soccer, and a new seminary class.

Sabbatical sounds like a dream.


  1. It can seem like a dream for youth pastors having a sabbatical. But it can happen! I’m a youth pastor and I had my sabbatical last summer! Our churches policy is that ANY pastor who has served in our church for 7 years gets a sabbatical! It’s awesome!

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