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Why is Rest
So Important?

The Bible teaches of the importance of interspersing work and rest with a sabbatical (an extended Sabbath) every seventh year. We believe that if each pastor and leader spent intentional time creating well-thought-out, well-designed and well-timed sabbaticals, we would witness far less burn-out and moral failure and would experience exceedingly more fruitful ministries. 

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The Great Lakes Region strongly encourages the rhythm of a sabbatical every seventh year to give sustainable energy, perspective, renewal, vision, and rest. We deeply desire and need our pastors to be spiritually healthy, morally fit, visionary, spirit-led, and renewed in their heart, mind and soul. And it is from this place that we can accomplish the mission that God has set before us to seek and save the lost. 

We have provided these resources for you in hopes that throughout your ministry career, you will continue to cultivate a well-ordered soul. Our desire is not only to resource you in this process but to support you and be an advocate for you as you seek to put Psalm 23 to the test.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul.”

Pastor Sabbatical Testimonies

Kyle Brown

Kyle Brown

Lead Pastor of

Berkley Hills Church

Peter Yoshonis

Pete Yoshonis

Lead Pastor of All Shores Wesleyan Church

Jason Holdridge

Jason Holdridge

Lead Pastor of Impact:

A Wesleyan Church

Church Board Sabbatical Testimonies

Sabbatical Policies & FAQs

Why a Sabbatical?

Pastors are Christ’s ambassadors to hurting and lost people.  They have been called to this and find joy in serving God and people; however, it is an intense calling.  This ministry – always giving out and serving others – isn’t sustainable without intentional time to step away.

The pastor cares at very deep levels about the joy of weddings, graduations, births, etc., but also the anguish of death, tragedies, health failures, divorces, etc.  The emotional roller coaster is always a part of the ministry, and even though pastors sustain themselves in prayer, devotion, and the support of family, the 24/7 work does take its toll.  The intentional stepping away for a time can be beneficial to both the pastor and the congregation.

The argument may be raised from those not in vocational ministry that secular careers do not receive sabbaticals.  Our response is that the sabbatical is not just for the pastor but for the congregation as well.  Because of the weight, stress, and expectations that can be high and unrelenting, we deeply believe that a sabbatical will raise the pastor to a higher level of leadership, vision, focus, and energy, which will absolutely benefit the church.  Pastors need to be taken out of circulation for a time to re-vision and re-structure their lives in communion with Christ and His Kingdom.  Some things require time and solitude, especially when seeking God’s renewal and voice. 

Things to Consider


Full Strength Network | All GLR lead pastors have an account with FSN; log in to fill out a request specifically asking for sabbatical coaching.

Jay Fowler From PastorServe

Ed Rotz from PastorServe

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Books on Sabbaticals

Books on

Articles & Blogs

& Blogs

Retreat Centers


Podcast Episodes

Podcast Episodes

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