Season 18: Episode 5 | What about the Congregation? How Everyone Benefits from a Pastor’s Sabbatical

We are wrapping up our sabbatical season by turning our attention to the congregation; how does a congregation benefit from a pastor’s sabbatical. Ruth sits down with her brother, Pastor Jonathan Haley, to discuss the thoughtful and intentional ways he included his congregation in his sabbatical planning, how he stayed connected with them and how they, together, wrapped up the entire experience.

Then, Ruth shares some final thoughts about sabbatical, her takeaways from her conversations this season and things to think about as you go forward with the idea of a sabbatical. Finally, Ruth closes with a meditation inspired by Psalm 46:10 by Henri Nouwen.

Jonathan Taylor HaleyJonathan Haley — also known as Taylor — is a husband, father, pastor and endurance athlete. Jonathan was a part of the first Transforming Community, and has served numerous  communities, as well as served on the board of directors for the Transforming Center. Jonathan earned his D.Min. from McCormick Seminary, where he researched and reflected on how a pastor’s spiritual practices shape a congregation. In 2018 he enjoyed a 3-month renewal leave, during which he biked across the country, with a personal and congregational focus on “experiencing our bodies as God’s gift to us.” He has served First Presbyterian Church in La Crosse, Wisconsin as pastor/head of staff for 20 years.


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Listen to other episodes from Season 18 Access past podcast seasons

Purchase Ruth’s new book! Embracing Rhythms of Work and Rest is out now, wherever you buy books (Amazon | Barnes and Noble |

You can also order the Sabbath Journal, meant to accompany you on your sabbath journey and give you space to share what your soul wants to say to God.

Interested in applying to Transforming Community 19? You can review the dates and apply today!

Music Credit:
Kingdom Come by Aaron Niequist
Springs of Living Water from Transforming Center Resource Music in Solitude

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The Transforming Center exists to create space for God to strengthen leaders and transform communities. You are invited to join our next Transforming Community:® A Two-year Spiritual Formation Experience for Leaders.  Delivered in nine quarterly retreats, this practice-based learning opportunity is grounded in the conviction that the best thing you bring to leadership is your own transforming self!

Transforming Center

We desire to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation – and that begins with transforming leaders. We seek to strengthen the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings. Read more about the Transforming Center.
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