What is The Navigators’ policy on sabbaticals? #
The Navigator policy is to strongly encourage every Navigator Staff to take a 3-6-month sabbatical every 7-10 years.
How far ahead should I plan to take a sabbatical and come to the Sabbatical Orientation Workshop (SOW)? #
You are encouraged to plan out 3-10 years, knowing that Navigators leadership encourages you to take a 3-6-month sabbatical every 7-10 years. This will allow you to set expectations with family, teammates, and supervisors. Attending the SOW 3-24 months before your sabbatical starts will help you set up your sabbatical well. When it is appropriate, before the first phase of your sabbatical, be sure to fill out and email the Sabbatical Infomation Form to email@example.com
How do I determine the length of my sabbatical? #
We strongly encourage staff to take a 3-6 month sabbatical every 7-10 years. The length of the sabbatical should be mutually determined by the Staff, Sabbatical Advisor, and the supervisor. For some staff, a shorter sabbatical seems to work best. For others, a longer one seems appropriate.
How do I choose a Sabbatical Advisor? #
The choice of a Sabbatical Advisor is a collaborative effort between you, your supervisor, and The Navigators’ Director of Staff Sabbaticals. Where possible, a Sabbatical Advisor is selected from someone who:
- Has completed a sabbatical.
- Lives in the same geographic region (but meeting virtually can work well in some situations when geographically separated).
- Understands the critical role of a sabbatical advisor.
- Is willing to take the initiative and commit the time necessary to serve.
The role of a sabbatical advisor is to shepherd you through the sabbatical process. The Sabbatical Guidelines contain all the orientation needed to be a Sabbatical Advisor. Some coaching could be available for the Sabbatical Advisors, but there is no certification required. Anyone can be a Sabbatical Advisor. Each person will bring their strengths to the role.
Do I have to attend a Sabbatical Orientation Workshop (SOW)? #
If you’ve never attended a SOW before, we strongly recommend that you do. The SOW is designed to give tools and set a tone for those who are new to the process. If this isn’t your first sabbatical, you’re still welcome to come, but can feel free to opt out. The SOW is currently provided two times per year, early February and late July.
Should I come to the SOW if I have already started my sabbatical? #
We suggest you plan your sabbatical out far enough into the future so that you can come to the Sabbatical Orientation Workshop (SOW) 3-24 months before your sabbatical starts. However, if that is not possible:
- If the SOW happens during your rest phase, you are encouraged to come. It will still be helpful.
- If the SOW happens after your rest phase, then you are encouraged not to attend. The information and orientation would not be timely.
How do I set boundaries for family, friends, and disciples during my sabbatical? #
It is beneficial to communicate that this is a special season of renewal and reflection encouraged by your ministry leaders. There will be a period of time where you will slow down your pace of life in order to focus on serious evaluation of life and ministry. Asking them to help you do this could be constructive.
How do I communicate to my donors about my sabbatical and will they support me during my sabbatical? #
You can let your donors know that you will be going on a sabbatical and share what the sabbatical model looks like. See sample newsletters in the Sabbatical Guidelines. Donors will likely still support you once they understand our sabbatical model. See “Communicating with Your Church, Friends, and Supporters about Your Sabbatical,” a downloadable document here.
Can I lead a Bible study, meet with my best disciple, or attend staff meetings during my sabbatical? #
We suggest that you relinquish all ministry and leadership involvement during your sabbatical. This is a time to “cease.” Since Navigator ministry is so life-on-life, a couple of questions to consider are, “Is this life-giving?” and “Is this about relationship or discipleship/ministry?”
How is a sabbatical different from a vacation? #
They are similar, and they are different.
- Similarities – Both:
- have elements of rest.
- are applications of the Biblical Principle of Rest, Sabbath, Festivals, Sabbatic Year.
- are breaks from the regular schedule of work and are a change of pace and focus.
- require planning.
- Differences – 3 Differences:
- A period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday: Schoolchildren are on vacation now.
- A part of the year, regularly set aside, when normal activities of law courts, legislatures, etc., are suspended.
- Freedom or release from duty, business, or activity. (Dictionary.com)
- Sabbatical: There are several models for a sabbatical. The sabbatical definition we are using is from The Navigators’ Sabbatical Guidelines:
- a guided process where we deliberately trust God for the unfinished as we disengage from normal ministry and leadership involvement to allow for serious evaluation of life and ministry.
- Our sabbatical model has five Phases (note “Rest” is only one of the Phases):
- the goal of vacation is usually “a break” where you’ve experienced a different focus and pace. You hope to come back refreshed, but you often come back tired.
- of a sabbatical is to be refreshed, hear from God, and learn from Jesus. A result of the serious evaluation will be intentional life and ministry changes.
- A vacation is self-directed, unsupervised
- A sabbatical is team-directed, supervised.