The concept of the sabbatical has its roots in the Hebrew bible. Every seven years, a sabbath (or rest) year was commanded to give the land a break from agricultural activity. In a similar way, our minds, like the soil, need rest to be able to continue to grow and provide. A sabbath (or Sabbatical in this case) is designed to be more than just a vacation, but a place of empowerment. When you come off of a Sabbatical, a renewed sense of vision or new vision is normally the result. You, God's church, your family and all should be better after a Sabbatical, because you are more connected with God.
WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
Of course Pastor Wilson did not create it, rather introduced the idea to Baker. Sabbaticals are typically reserved for Pastors, and clergy of the church. However, this was introduced two fold; One, to allow a ru-ah (Breath, spirit) to come into the ministries of Baker Chapel in ways not experienced previously. Second, to introduce this concept so that members can understand the importance of connecting with God and creating framework for an existing policy.
HOW DO I MAKE THE MOST OF MY SABBATICAL?
Since it is not a vacation, do not treat it as such. Find new ways to connect with God, and listen. Spend time sitting outside and looking at what God has created. Make space for God to talk to you. Not just to answer your prayer list, but speak to you about somethings that need improvement, adjustment and recalibration. Turn the TV off, and pick up the word of God more. Don't just listen to your favorite gospel songs, listen to others and connect with God in a new way. "Sing unto the Lord a new song..." (Psalm 96:1)
DO I HAVE TO TAKE A SABBATICAL?
Simple answer, no. Possibly the better question to remit is "Does God agree with me not needing a Sabbatical?" Often times we hit the proverbial "play" button on our lives and as we are to be a God chaser, we actually desire God to chase us. Maybe you will find that the things that upset you, frustrated you, worried you and caused you great despair does not mean as much to God.
Happy Sabbatical week!