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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 ...

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December
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