Sabbatical FAQ's

June 24, 2024 - September 8, 2024

Pastor Jeremy will focus on rest, restoration, renewal, and reentry. While he’s doing that, we will continue with the summer ministries that move us forward on our mission.

What is a sabbatical?

Sabbaticals are different from a vacation in that they seek to relieve the everyday responsibilities of a pastor (i.e., preaching, teaching, pastoral care, administration) and provide a time of true rest and restoration as well as focusing on re-entry to Journey. Unlike a vacation, which encourages time completely away from regular work and focuses on time with one’s family, a sabbatical is not a “workless” time. A sabbatical is specifically aimed at rest, renewal, and restoration of the mind and heart of the pastor and his family.

Are sabbaticals a biblical mandate?

The short answer is no.  However, throughout Scripture, we see the precedent that work is good; it is to be done with all our might, yet it will be marked by difficulty and grief (cf. Gen. 2:15, Ecc. 9:10, Gen. 3:17-19).  We also see that God, in His good plan, has designed and instructed us to rest (cf. Gen. 1:31; Lev. 25).  The need for rest was intended to give God’s people regular and repeated experiences of receiving from Him refreshment and provision so that they would not trust in their own labors for survival or security.


Consequently, while a pastoral sabbatical is not biblically mandated, it seems wise for a congregation to exercise sabbatical rest for their pastors.  This practice releases pastors of regular tasks in order to take up a prolonged time of beholding the greatness of God and His redemptive work, which will lead to fruitful endurance for the church as a whole.

If sabbaticals are not biblically mandated, why should pastors be afforded the opportunity?

While everyone faces vocational pressures, a pastor’s life does seem to have unique stressors.  First, having the church as the pastor’s “job” doesn’t allow any time that is truly away from that work.  Leading and preaching on Sundays, meetings, funerals, hospital visits, church activities, and various other discipleship and leadership activities are rightly expected for pastors to attend regularly and lead.  Therefore, there is little to no work-life separation for a pastor.


Second, not only is there limited separation, but the basic ingredient of a pastor’s work regularly deals with the weightiest realities in all the world—sin, suffering, sanctification, death, and eternity.  We understand Scripture to teach that pastors will give an account for how they shepherd souls under their care (cf. Heb. 13:17).  This truth adds an undeniable weightiness to the pastor’s preaching, leading, serving, discipleship, and decision-making.  As a result, the weight of a pastor’s work brings consistent heaviness upon his soul that can’t be “turned off” or minimized.


The apostle Paul says it best when he tells the church at Corinth after spelling out all his troubles: “And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28).  To be clear, it is not being suggested that a pastor is better or more deserving than anyone else.  The uniqueness comes not in the nature of the person but in the nature of the work God and his local church has called the pastor to do.

When is Pastor Jeremy’s sabbatical?

Monday, June 24th through Sunday, September 8th. (11 weeks)

What is he going to be doing?

His sabbatical will focus on rest, restoration, and renewal. Pastor Jeremy is working with a sabbatical coach to create a plan based on his needs.

Who will be in charge while he is gone?

As is always the case, the Journey Church Leadership Team (JCLT) is ultimately in charge. Per his Lead Pastor duties, each of the current staff members will pick up some of his duties, and we have designated Pastor Jesse Duckett as the primary contact for any questions, planning, or needs of individuals or the congregation, as well as leading the staff during the summer.

Will other pastors be paid more to cover for Pastor Jeremy or will we be hiring other temporary help?

The rest of the pastoral staff knows this will mean that each of them will have to “shoulder the load” in various ways.  As members of the JLCT, they support the sabbatical. At this time, we do not anticipate needing to hire any additional part-time or hourly help.  We may use already allocated funds as an honorarium for one or two visiting preachers on a Sunday morning.

Will he still come to Journey Church each Sunday?

No, his plan is going to include visiting other churches.

Can we contact him while he is gone?

We desire to give Pastor Jeremy as much freedom, rest, and restoration as possible, so we ask that you do not contact him directly.  If you feel you need to contact Pastor Jeremy, please start by getting in touch with Pastor Jesse.

Is anything wrong? Is Pastor Jeremy sick or fighting some illness?

No, and no. This an opportunity for true rest and restoration and a renewed spirit when he returns.

Will there be expenses to the church beyond our current budget?

There are no expenses planned beyond what we already have in this year’s budget.

How will the sabbatical impact ministries at Journey Church?

Summer ministries have already been planned, and we are looking forward to a fruitful summer of living out our mission.  We will continue to invite our church family to participate actively and serve this summer.  Pastor Jeremy is excited to come back and hear what God has done through Journey Church.  Pastor Jeremy will have left the building, but NOT God.

If you made it this far in the FAQ, please give Pastor Jesse a piece of chocolate.