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A Sabbatical Primer for Pastors


--What is a sabbatical or spiritual renewal leave? 
--Why take a sabbatical? 
--Who needs a sabbatical? 
--Why do I need a sabbatical? 
--When should I take a sabbatical? 
--How long should a sabbatical be? What’s the criteria? 
--Where can I find the guidance and resources to plan and carry out a sabbatical? 
--How do I begin? 
--What do I do, or what steps do I take before, during, and after the sabbatical?

--A brief, biblical context and rationale for sabbatical and Sabbath 
--Practical steps and phases for planning, initiating, and navigating the sabbatical from beginning to reentry. 
--Answers to “honest fears and reservations” pastors have regarding sabbaticals 
--Helpful tools in the six appendices, along with other samples of proposals, letters, and a “Life Mission Statement” for prioritizing your calling 
--Encouragement for those who find the whole idea to be overwhelming 
--Specific references to sabbatical policies, housing, funding sources, and other helpful information to assist in planning the pastoral sabbatical 
--A brief suggested reading list for sabbatical reading 
--Helps for the church to understand your spiritual renewal leave—sabbatical 

--Dr. Ruth Haley Barton, Founder, Transforming Center, author of Invitation to Solitude and Silence and Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership.

 “If every beginning minister were given a start-up kit when they began, David Alves’ book, would be an essential. It contains the indispensable fundamentals for a long and fruitful ministry. Providing step-by-step guidance, this book could save many from premature erosion that takes place beneath the surface in ministry. I highly recommend this primer for every new and veteran minister who cares about his or her future vitality!”

--Dr. Wayne Cordeiro, author of Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion and Senior Pastor of New Hope, Oahu

What Others are Saying:

“What a wise and winsome invitation to the spiritual practice of sabbatical! But there’s more—once you’ve said yes to the invitation, you will also find a road map for planning and then taking the journey into this oft-unexplored terrain.  This is a most helpful offering!”

Many pastors know they need to take a ministry sabbatical, but keep putting it off. I wrote a book that I would have found helpful when I found myself at that stage in my ministry. I wish a primer had fallen into my hands many years earlier. Hopefully, you've arrive here at just the right time to begin to plan and execute a spiritual renewal leave--a ministry sabbatical.

Pastors who have read the primer write or speak with me at events. They say that every pastor should read A Sabbatical Primer for Pastors. Some pastors have bought copies for their friends and colleagues in ministry. What about you? This book should be on your shelf or in your "must read next pile."