A Sabbath rest, from which we get our word sabbatical, is an important biblical principle. It teaches us to take a weekly rest – one that kills the idol of working-too-hard and at the same time says to God ‘You sustain me by grace, I rest in you’. God Himself rested from all his work on the seventh day – and He calls us to do the same.
A sabbatical, such as the one that I will take from July to September (inclusive), is a different expression of that same principle (as is the practice of leaving a field fallow periodically).
It has long been part of our policy as a church to give a sabbatical at regular intervals to our elders. We see this as both an investment in the person and, through them, the church. It is an opportunity to step back from the day-to-day responsibilities of the church family and so create extra space for study, reflection and prayer.
I plan to spend my time growing as a son, husband and father. I will spend some time reading the Psalms (without the need to prepare my next sermon) and I am really looking forward to spending a few days with Paul Maconochie (National Team Leader at 3DM USA). Anna, the boys and I will take this opportunity to visit other churches in Cambridge and Ely to receive from them and continue to build relationships across these two beautiful cities.
The church is, and always has been, led by a team of elders who will continue to shepherd those God has given them to lead whilst I am away.
Daniel Goodman - June 2017
Five reasons your church leader should take a sabbatical