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Consider the Sabbatical Context

Increasingly, clergy are encouraged to pay attention to the physical, emotional and spiritual effects of the stress of ministry, and to take steps to protect and preserve their own well-being. Over the last generation, the taking of a sabbatical has become an increasingly normal expectation, especially for long-serving clergy. However, because sabbaticals are taken within a community and ministry setting, the extended absence of the senior pastor has both an emotional and a systemic effect on the congregation, which can produce unexpected problems. In an essay housed on the Faith & Leadership website of Duke Divinity School, Mark Miller-McLemore discusses the unintended consequences of clergy sabbaticals and makes suggestions on how to avoid pitfalls.



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Review rank-ordered data on religion in the U.S. and around the world. Includes the latest data from the Religious Congregations & Membership Study, 2010


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