XPastor tries to help churches by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms and policies. Below is the 2005 Sabbatical Policy of the Westminster Church of the Nazarene.
WCON along with the General Church of the Nazarene (Manual for 2001-2005 section 129.10) recognizes the special need of its full-time pastors to seek and obtain spiritual renewal. We also recognize the special benefit and wisdom of a Sabbath renewal. God’s Sabbath principle, applied to their ministries, provides an opportunity to rededicate (sanctify) one’s life and work to the Lord, reacquire God’s perspective, and freshen one’s spiritual health. In this way, the entire Body of Christ benefits and is blessed by the pastoral Sabbath.
- A pastor in full-time, paid ministry at WCON, with Church Board approval, shall be entitled to take a minimum of seven weeks to a maximum of twelve weeks of sabbatical leave during the seventh year of full-time service.
- It is each pastor’s responsibility to plan and schedule their own Sabbatical leave in coordination with the demands of the ministry at the church. However, the demands of the ministry at the church do not constitute an adequate reason to prevent the Sabbatical leave.
- Full salary and benefits will be provided during the Sabbatical leave.
- Sabbaticals may not be accrued and must be taken roughly in the year in which they are due (the seventh year in the ministry cycle). See #11 for exception.
- The Sabbatical leave may not be taken as terminal leave (i.e. as leave at the end of employment).
- The Sabbatical leave cannot be combined with vacation time and cannot occur any less than four weeks before or after the vacation leave.
- Cash, or other forms of compensation, may not be offered or accepted in lieu of Sabbatical leave.
- Sabbatical is provided for spiritual renewal and freshening. The Sabbatical leave cannot be used for ministry at any other church or other Christian ministry.
- The activities of the Sabbatical represent a stewardship to be exercised by the Sabbatical pastor and will not otherwise be stipulated by the church. On the other hand, the Sabbatical pastor will consult with his/her supervising pastor to discuss the various Sabbatical options to be planned and approved. The overarching concept for sabbatical is spiritual, emotional, and physical rejuvenation.
- The timing of the sabbatical leave for pastoral staff will be coordinated with the supervising or senior pastor with approval of the Church Board. The timing of the sabbatical leave for the senior pastor will be coordinated with the Church Board. The District Superintendent will be notified of the senior pastor’s scheduling of sabbatical leave.
- Care should be given to avoid scheduling overlapping Sabbatical leave between various pastoral staff. An exception to this may be where two spouses are serving in full-time ministry at WCON. Spouses are strongly encouraged to take this sabbatical leave concurrently and all efforts should be made to synchronize their respective sabbatical schedules as follows.
- When spousal length of employment is unequal, eligibility for a sabbatical shall be granted when the first hired spouse begins his/her seventh year of full time employment. Since the second spouse would not otherwise be eligible for full leave at this time, the following formula shall apply for the purpose of determining a combined sabbatical leave.
- Sabbatical leave will be accrued at the rate of 2 weeks per completed year of full time employment for the spouse with the shortest length of employment and combined with that of the eligible spouse. For example: Spouse 1 has served 6 full years since start of employment or last sabbatical year and Spouse 2 has completed 4 full years. The length of combined leave would be calculated as below:
10 years combined employment
x 2 weeks leave per completed years of employment
+ 2 employees
= 10 weeks of combined allowable Sabbatical leave