May 26th- September 8th, 2019

Frequently Asked Questions  

What is a Sabbatical?

It is an extended time away from routine ministry duties for the purpose of experiencing God through an extended sabbath rest. It is meant to provide a time of special renewal for the pastor that will bring personal nourishment to his soul, a deeper relationship with the Lord, family refreshment and focus, and a clearer understanding of God’s calling on his life. A sabbatical helps prevent ministry burnout and may give the pastor a fresh perspective for his ministry calling.

What does the Bible say about Sabbaticals?

“The concept of sabbatical is deeply rooted in Scripture. The term is derived from the Old Testament idea of “Sabbath.” The Hebrew word means “rest.” God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:1-3). During the Hebrew children’s exodus from Egypt, God directed them (Exodus 16:26) to gather the manna daily but to rest on the seventh day (Sabbath). In numerous Old Testament passages, God admonished his people to work six days but to devote the seventh day to God as a day of rest (Exodus 20:9-10, 23:12, 31:15, 34:21, 35:2; Leviticus 23:3 and Deuteronomy 5:13). Among the Israelites, God instituted the Sabbath year (Leviticus 25:1-5). On every seventh year, the children of Israel were to refrain from farming the land and let the earth rest. Both the Israelites and the land benefited from the Sabbath rest. These passages suggest that there is a rhythm to life. As the man of wisdom said, “For everything there is a season” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Jesus’ own life and ministry reflect a deep understanding and appreciation for the rhythms of life. The demands upon him were so great that his own ministry was punctuated with times of withdrawal for prayer and spiritual solitude (Matthew 14:23; Mark 6:46; Luke 5:16, 6:12).” (Written by Tennessee Baptist Convention)

Why have the PVC elders decided to grant this sabbatical?

We are following biblical and best practices for long-term ministry health

  • Soul Care- Spiritual renewal and recharging after 10 years of serving at PVC.
  • Family- Opportunity to invest more deeply in his marriage and relationship with his six children.
  • Skill Sharpening- Gives opportunity to take an academic course in counseling through a local seminary.

Have previous pastors at PVC taken sabbaticals?

  • Yes, it has been a policy for the past twenty years that we encourage our pastors to take a sabbatical after serving for at least 7 years. (Pastor Larry, Pastor Tim and Pastor Mark took sabbaticals.)

When will the Sabbatical take place?

Sunday, May 26th - Sunday, September 8th, 2019. Returning to the office Monday, September 9th. 

What will Pastor Andrew be doing while he is away?

  • Traveling to France with Elizabeth to retreat and find rest from the normal busyness of life, connecting with Paul & Louise Klawitter and the East Dijon Church and Cafe.
  • Studying a course on counseling through a local seminary.
  • Spending lengthy times of solitude for prayer and scripture reading.
  • Spending one on one time with each of his six children.
  • Reading books to help him grow as a disciple of Christ.
  • Connecting regularly with a professional counselor, ministry coach, and spiritual mentor.

What is the coverage plan for pastoral leadership during Pastor Andrew’s absence?

  • CLT Team Coordinator: Pastor Dave Allem will lead the campus leadership team.

  • Pastoral Care: Pastor Paul Sigmund will provide pastoral care for needs regarding illnesses, hospitalizations, deaths, prayer requests, or special needs.

  • Community Fair Pastor: Laz Reyes will serve as pastor on the executive Fair team.

  • Sunday Morning Worship Experience: Pastor Dave will be working with Dave O’Brien to schedule preaching team and worship service ministry vision.

  • Funerals & Weddings: Pastor Dave and Pastor Paul will work together to preside over these.

  • Network Coordinator: Ryan Landis will be working with the Leadership Council to help direct the vision.

What is the church’s role during this sabbatical?

  • Pray, encourage, and support Pastor Andrew and his family. (Ways you can be praying will be forthcoming.)
  • Respect the Saunders family’s time away.
  • Pastor Andrew will not be accessing his church email or church cell phone during this time. This is intended to give him a dedicated time of rest from his normal pastoral duties.
  • They will be attending other churches during this time to experience how other              churches lead their worship services and to worship without having responsibilities to lead.
  • In case you are wondering, If you run into the Saunders family at the grocery store, yes you are allowed to talk to them. :)