Dear Fort George Community,
Re: Sabbatical Policy Proposal
On January 12th we sent out a proposal from our leadership team about the acceptance of a sabbatical policy for our pastors. We received several helpful questions about the proposed policy that all centered around two primary concerns. We’ve answered those questions below:
Questions specific to Fort George accepting a sabbatical policy for our pastors.
1.) How will the church afford to pay for sabbatical coverage while a senior pastor is away but still being paid?
Our leadership discussed this with Bob Krahn, and his recommendation was that we add $2000 for pulpit supply to our current budget of $1200. These amounts have already been included in our 2022 budget.
Currently we pay $250 a week for a guest speaker, and so 12-16 sermons would cost a maximum of $3000-$4000. That said we plan to cover a good percentage of these messages with “in house” speakers who will not get paid. In house speakers include other pastors on staff, members of our leadership team, other pastors from our sister NAB churches in the city as well as other members of our congregation. Every guest speaker not included in this list would be paid.
2.) Would the church hire an in-term pastor to cover the duties of the pastor who was on sabbatical?
No. Churches that only have one pastor will, on occasion, hire an in-term pastor to do sabbatical coverage, but for churches with multiple staff this is currently not normal. Instead during the time that the pastor is on sabbatical the other pastoral staff at the church, in conjunction with the leadership team, generally take on additional responsibilities.
In our case, if Pastor Dan were to take a sabbatical this coming summer, Pastor Spencer would assume the primary responsibility for any counselling, weddings or funerals that may occur.
In order to ensure Pastor Spencer did not end up over burdened we would rely on the other two NAB churches in the city (College Heights Baptist and Hartland Baptist) to assist us in cases of emergency. On top of this we have Elliott Morris returning for an internship this summer and he will play a big role in covering many of the tasks Spencer would normally do with youth. He will also oversee the music ministry that Nikki usually does as well as preach from time to time. One thing we are committed to is that we will not expect Pastor Spencer to work additional hours while Dan is away.
3.) Is implementing a Sabbatical policy the most effective use of our resources?
While there will be added expenses to implementing a sabbatical policy it is the belief of our leadership team that this will be money well spent. Recent poles indicate that a higher-than-average number of pastors are experiencing burnout and considering resignation right now. As a leadership team we believe that it is important to foster the health and wellbeing of our pastoral staff and feel that a sabbatical policy is a good way to do that.
At this time, we present the following motion to the congregation for a vote:
Motion that Fort George Baptist Church accept the sabbatical policy as recommended by the deacons and committee.
Motion: Coralie Fitz-Gerald Seconded: Ben Wiens
To vote please contact the church office by email or phone by January 28, 2022. Please include your full name as well as your vote, either YES or NO. 250-564-6287 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fort George Baptist Leadership Team