Info about upcoming pastoral sabbaticals

FAQ's regarding pastoral sabbaticals in 2019

What is the purpose of a sabbatical?

The concept behind offering a sabbatical leave to pastoral staff members is to provide a respite from normal pastoral duties for one or more of the following purposes: spiritual growth, education, research, rest, Bible study, prayer, fresh vision and/or other work. 

When were sabbaticals instituted at Davisville?

The idea of a sabbatical leave for pastoral staff was researched, refined and approved by the non-staff Davisville Elders in 2006. Since then, six pastoral staff have taken a sabbatical.

What is the sabbatical policy?

The policy states that each paid pastoral staff member is afforded the opportunity to take up to a three-month paid sabbatical leave after the completion of every seven years of service at Davisville. In preparation, the pastor meets with a sabbatical team to form a plan that will be presented to the LMT. The plan covers what the pastor will be doing while on his sabbatical, and how his responsibilities will be covered while away. The sabbatical team also provides accountability during the time away. Upon return, the pastor reports to the elders concerning what was accomplished and vision for future ministry.

What are some of the benefits of offering sabbaticals?

Properly administered, a sabbatical leave for pastoral staff members should benefit both the pastor who takes the leave as well as the church that provides it. A sabbatical leave is one tangible means to allow pastors to step back from the busyness of doing ministry week-to-week and year-to-year in order to achieve the purposes listed above. It guards against weariness and burnout in ministry while simultaneously allowing for fresh vision from God. It also allows other leaders to step up and demonstrates to the church that the ministry is not dependent upon a particular person.

Who currently qualifies for a sabbatical?

While Pastor Matt just completed his sabbatical in January, Pastor Tim and Pastor Bobby currently qualify. Pastor Dave will qualify in 2020.

Why are the sabbaticals so close together?

One of the goals in taking a sabbatical is to do so at a time that is most beneficial for the church. Although Pastor Matt qualified in 2014 and Pastor Tim qualified in 2015, they delayed taking their sabbaticals because it was not the right time for Davisville. Since then, Pastor Bobby has also qualified. Now that the staff restructure is complete and the team is working effectively, the elders believe this is an appropriate time for the sabbaticals to take place.

When will Pastor Tim and Pastor Bobby be away?

Pastor Tim’s sabbatical runs from just after Easter to just before the baptism and picnic at the Maplewood Swim Club, basically May through July. Pastor Bobby will begin his sabbatical on June 17 and return on September 14.

How will responsibilities be covered while Pastor Tim and Pastor Bobby are away?

For Pastor Tim, the plan for coverage will include Pastor Bobby preaching a series entitled Jesus: Hope for Every Generation and Pastor Matt preaching a series entitled Legacy from the book of Colossians. For Pastor Bobby, the plan will include ensuring that ministries are planned out for the fall and identifying and preparing an individual to support ministry leaders during the sabbatical.   

Why are Pastor Tim’s and Pastor Bobby’s sabbaticals overlapping?

Although this is generally avoided, the non-staff elders on the Leadership Ministry Team (LMT) approved Pastor Tim and Pastor Bobby overlapping for six weeks from mid-June through July for the following reasons:

  1. The summer months are generally the best time in the church calendar for pastoral staff to take a sabbatical.
  2. The six-week time period can be well covered by the rest of the pastoral team and staff.

Who can I talk to with further questions and/or comments?

Please contact Kevin Oessenich, the Chairman of the Elders, at