Why I needed a Sabbatical?

93512213_f93e41abbfI am currently on a 4 week Sabbatical.

I have been navigating my way through several bouts of sickness and burnout symptoms for several months now, that I finally decided to lead myself well before I continue to attempt to lead others well. After much discussion and prayer with my wife Simone, I made a decision on Monday 5/10/09 to take a 4 week Sabbatical to refuel, re-energize and refocus my body, mind and spirit to follow Jesus more closely and lead Activate Church more effectively heading into 2010. A Sabbatical is different to a holiday, in that it is more focused on spiritual and emotional renewal rather than just getting away from everything and enjoying the sunshine in QLD.

Over the last 5 days I have been connecting with trusted mentors including David McCracken, my Father, Mike Grechko and Kevin Forlong as well as a couple of close friends debriefing and processing my thoughts and feelings and what has led me to this point. I have also read a fantastic book titled “Leading on Empty” written by Wayne Cordeiro that has helped me enormously. I recommend it to you if you are a leader serious about fulfilling your call and wanting to avoid being sidelined.

God has been very gracious and revealed several causes for me needing a Sabbatical and I am so glad that I am taking this time to be still before the Lord and know that He is God! Some of the reasons why I have got to this point include:

  • Accumulation of 10 years of ministry fatigue without an extended break.
  • Carrying unresolved hurt because of criticism.
  • Wrestling with the contradiction of God’s vision and current reality.
  • Getting caught up in another man’s doctrine and ministry expression, rather than my own.
  • Getting distracted from my original calling from God.

Upon returning to full leadership duties at Activate Church after my Sabbatical I will share with my leaders and the entire Church all that God has put upon my heart to share with them about this journey.

This whole experience up to this point has been very humbling. I have read all the books and attended all the seminars on avoiding burnout because I have observed it to be so common amongst many church leaders and yet I am facing a form of mild burnout myself. 10 years ago the stats tell us that there were 10,000 leaders out of the ministry for various issues relating to burnout. I would hate to think what the stats currently are.

I refuse to become another statistic! I am here for the long haul and I know that God is transforming my heart, body and mind so that I can come back stronger and more passionate than ever before. I am convinced that the work God has started in me he will bring to completion in my life. This 4 week Sabbatical is a precautionary measure against crashing in a more serious way in the future.

Even in these early stages I am finding a little of my joy, passion and hunger for ministry and more importantly my relationship with God coming back. I am a driven and passionate leader and pursuer of God’s heart. I always will be but at this time I need to be still and sit before Jesus and allow him to fill my cup back up. As I do, I know that people are praying for me and caring for my family and I really appreciate it.

As a result of this experience I will be intentional about aligning my life and ministry with the calling and life cadence God created me to walk in. I ask for your prayers and support as I navigate this season with Jesus, Activate and my family. I look forward to re-connecting with my Activate family in the coming weeks and seeing all that God does in our midst as a result of this eye-opening journey.

Lead the Change!

15 Responses to “Why I needed a Sabbatical?”

  1. gail zammit Says:

    brilliant corey…you r amazing and im sure by having time out and refreshing yourself with the lord he will fill your cup and renew your strength.Will uphold u in my prayer time. sending u all my love to u and simone and children.xxxxgail

  2. Corey, I am so grateful for your honesty and your example! Both Julia and I will be praying for you and your family daily. I believe in you as my leader, my Pastor, and my friend! God WILL honor your faithfulness & transparency. I truly believe this is a critical turning point for both you and our church. God bless you mate. Much love, Chris.

  3. Peter Zujovskii Says:

    Something I found interesting, you might too:

  4. Hey Cors –

    I really appreciate your honesty in being able to call a ‘time out’ when you recognize that you need one. Good on you. Thanks for all you & Sim do for our church and even to help me and tas out personally.
    We will be praying for you & look forward to seeing you back on board renewed and refreshed.
    we love you guys … t&t xo

  5. heya Pastor Corey, just wanna say “thank you” for everything that you’ve done for us, your church family, and for me personally! Would not be here without the love & support from you & Pastor Sim. Have a great time hanging out with Jesus!! 🙂
    love heaps

  6. Thanks for sharing! We really appreciate your leadership. You’ve helped shape the person I am today. Love you and Sim. Take this time out that you need. We’re here for you. xo

  7. Corey thats an awesome decision. One that you will reap dramatically from. should be mandatory for all busy leaders from time to time. Keep leading the change.

  8. Ben Wallis Says:

    Hey mate,
    Thanks for your honesty and humility in this post. I hope that this break is refreshing and reinvigorating in your walk with God. Beck and I will continue to uphold you and the family in our prayers. We love you guys and believe in your calling and in Activate Church.
    God Bless

  9. Keith & Ann Says:

    we totally support your sabbatical decision Corey, very wise & we dont want you to be a STATISTIC! either. We think you & Sim are an amazing courageous dynamic duo in leading Activate our prayers are with you and we are tightening our seatbelts ready for your return !!!!!

    God Bless

    Keith & Ann

  10. Hey mate, we’ll be praying, & if you wanna borrow my sebatical-special surfboard, it’s all yours!

  11. Corey I just want to say how proud I am of you.
    I am with you and Simone
    And you would have been soooooooo proud of Sim last Sunday – she kicked a…….amazingly!!!

  12. guy and julie Says:

    Hi Corey,
    we are all with you in this and trust God will answer you prayer’s. You are one of a kind plus it’s great time to see the other Activate leaders in action. We will continue to uphold you and the family in our prayers. God Bless

  13. Hey Corey,

    It was great to catch up yesterday. All the best with the sabbatical! Your honesty and reflections on this piece and other areas you talk about on your blog are very appreciated. Keep up the great work!

    God bless,


  14. Hey Corey.
    I hope this time off has been effective in renewing every area of your life. You have done an amazing job building up activate church.
    Look forward to you returning with more dynamic, powerful and challenging preaching.

  15. Hey Ps. Corey,

    been 3 weeks into ur sabbatical as i read this. nonetheless i really appreciate ur honesty and sincerity in wanting to lead Activate better and experiencing God on another level. it’s gonna be an awesome time! 🙂 looking forward to your return in the following weeks. definitely keeping u , Ps. Simone and the kids in prayers! 🙂


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