To get a sabbatical, I needed to change attitudes on three levels.
Level 1: The board
These people weren't for or against sabbaticals. They didn't have an opinion. No pastor before had ever asked for one, nor had they ever thought to offer.
Changing their attitudes was more a matter of educating than convincing. Aided by a pamphlet supplied by my district, (a copy is available at www.evansville.net/~jbeuoy/) I simply informed my board of what a sabbatical is about.
The pamphlet outlined the unique nature of a pastor's workload (six-day workweeks, no free weekends, weeknights away from family, few free holidays, etc.) and possible effects (burnout, stress on the pastor's family).
Then it listed the benefits: a grateful pastor who has renewed vision, a more grateful pastor's wife, happier pastor's children, a pastor with enhanced training, a deepened awareness of the love of the congregation for the pastor.
I didn't have to do any selling. I just let them read it and then asked if they would approve ...1