Ministry Sabbatical Policy Development Guidelines

Issues to be addressed and included in the preparation of a Ministry Sabbatical Policy for your church: 

  • Purpose and Parameters of the Sabbatical  
  • Eligibility 
    • Does the policy include part-time staff? 
    • Does the ministry leader need to have served for a certain period at the congregation before the sabbatical? 
    • Will there be an expectation that the ministry leader remain at the congregation for a period of time after the sabbatical? 
  • Length: Typically, a three month sabbatical every four to seven years is recommended.  
  • Scheduling and Priorities  
  • Accountabilities  
  • Funding Options and Plan 
    • Congregation may want to set aside funds each year to save for a sabbatical year. 
    • Congregation may offer to match funds that a ministry leader sets aside for a future sabbatical. 
    • Congregations have held fundraisers to finance the sabbatical period.  
  • Sabbatical Covenant