Jump directly to the Content

Renewing Your Strength Without a Sabbatical

Instead of taking off on a three-month getaway, I embarked on a day-to-day hike through the wilderness of weariness.
—Greg Asimakoupoulos

Twelve years of task-oriented ministry had taken its toll. I was battling pastoral burnout, and I was losing. The very week the Allied Forces were claiming victory in the Persian Gulf War, my own spirit was surrendering to battle fatigue. Emotional exhaustion. Physical weariness. Spiritual anorexia.

In a conversation with my superintendent, I confessed despair. He suggested a four-syllable remedy: sabbatical.

An extended time away from the never-ending responsibilities of the church (with full pay) was not a foreign concept to me. Two of my closest colleagues had been granted twelve-week sabbaticals the previous summer. For both, the experience was one of travel, rest, family reunions, and solitude. No degree was pursued. No article published. No manuscript written. Yet each returned home focused, fresh, and infused with a renewed desire to preach.

The thought ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Joseph’s Simplicity Was Actually Spiritual Maturity
Joseph’s Simplicity Was Actually Spiritual Maturity
God entrusted his only Son to a man who could not provide as his culture expected.
Editor's Pick
My Body Is a Temple, Not a Fighting Machine
My Body Is a Temple, Not a Fighting Machine
Why I left a promising boxing career behind after coming to Christ.