Recently I wrote about a free sabbatical program for pastors. On that post, a reader named Brian shared a comment and told me about his site, Pastor Swap, which facilitates pastoral exchanges for vacations or sabbaticals.
First off, thank you Brian for sharing your comment. I welcome comments and suggestions here at Money Wise Pastor. I read each comment and respond as needed.
On Pastor Swap, Brian shares his story about how he traded his home and church in Canada with a pastor from Germany for a four month sabbatical. They both committed to preaching in their “host” church for three weekends a month during that trade, but beyond that they had no other official church duties to attend to. This left them plenty of time to do all the things they had hoped to accomplish during their extended time away from their church.
Brian does a great job explaining the concept behind the sabbatical swap (and the vacation swap), including, why it makes sense, a biblical basis for it, how to plan one, etc. He also lists several benefits for pastors and churches, including:
Benefits for the Pastor:
- This is an affordable way to take a sabbatical. Other than travel, there are no additional costs, unless the cost of living is significantly higher in the location where you are going to.
- The pastor has a significant amount of time for study, prayer, family, rest, hobbies, writing, building new relationships, etc.
- The pastor has the opportunity to get to know another congregation. There is always so much we can learn from one another.
Benefits for the Church:
- The church is not going to be completely without a pastor for the duration of the sabbatical because the visiting pastor agrees to preach three Sundays per month.
- People in churches often don’t step up to the plate and serve until there is an urgent need. A sabbatical swap like this gives ministry opportunities to many people who might otherwise not consider getting involved to the same extent.
- The church has the opportunity to get to know another pastor. Each pastor has a different style, different strengths and abilities, and different insights.
- The pastor and his family come back to the church with renewed strength and enthusiasm.
Brian also provides a swap match-up on his site where pastors can post their interest in doing a sabbatical or vacation swap. I absolutely love this idea and think that a sabbatical swap or vacation swap are great ways for pastors to enjoy a low-cost vacation or sabbatical.
If you’re a pastor, does a sabbatical swap sound like a good you’d like to pursue for a sabbatical or vacation. If you’re not a pastor, please share this with your pastor so he or she can learn about Pastor Swap.
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