Sabbatical Plan

  • We believe healthy churches require healthy pastors.  If a pastor is not healthy, the church will not be healthy.  We have been blessed at Harvest Springs with nearly two decades of health as a church, much because of healthy and consistent pastoral leadership.  We want to ensure Harvest Springs remains a healthy church, so we intentionally invest in keeping our pastors healthy.  Too many churches have become sick and have eventually closed their doors, ceasing the ability to influence their community for the Kingdom of God; we won’t let that happen here.

    Our pastoral health plan includes both personal responsibility and accountability as well as organizational support.  Meaning, there are things the pastors are expected to do themselves to stay healthy and we offer opportunities to help them be healthy.

  • Sabbatical is defined as : “An extended period of time offered to key leaders by an organization to equip the organization for the next season of opportunity and challenge through enhancing the leader’s skills by providing space away from the tyranny of the urgent for renewal, strategic thinking, and personal change.”

    While this definition of “sabbatical” relates to the business/professional world, we also believe the idea of sabbatical extends to our personal spiritual lives.  The Bible talks much about “sabbath”, a designated period of time “set apart” for rest in order to achieve renewal of one’s soul and focus on God apart from the distractions and demands of the everyday.

  • Cory has been leading Harvest Springs for nearly 20 years!  Over that time the church has grown in size and impact in bringing the gospel to our community.  We want to see that continue to happen for the next 20 years, and want to allow Cory the time to become personally refreshed and prepare for what God has ahead for us as a church.

    As churches grow and change the pressure on it’s leader increases dramatically.  In the midst of the constant demands of ministry and the urgency that often exists, it is difficult for a leader to see the big picture and dream about what “might be”.  Harvest Springs wants Cory to take a sabbatical in order to create space in his life, away from the daily demands of pastoring, in order prepare himself to keep us moving forward while taking the next steps God has for us. Our elders determined it is wise at this time to ask Cory to take a sabbatical in order for him to see what is ahead and position himself to lead from a place of health.

  • While you might think it is Cory, we believe the greatest beneficiary is Harvest Springs.  Healthy leaders are required for healthy churches.  Time away from the day-to-day will allow Cory to ensure he is healthy (spiritually, relationally, emotionally, and physically), and ensure he can reflect on what Harvest Springs needs from him in the next season of ministry.  Ultimately this is mutually beneficial for Cory and the church. 

  • Approximately Three Months.  Cory’s last weekend will be Sunday, May 30.  He will be back in the office at the end of August and will resume preaching September 19.

  • Yes.  The goal and purpose of sabbatical is to personally and professionally prepare for what’s ahead for the church.

  • Yes.  The goal and purpose of sabbatical is to personally and professionally prepare for what’s ahead for the church.

  • We have a great team of pastors all of whom are gifted communicators of Gods’ Word and will be taking the bulk of the weekend service preaching load. There may also be a guest preacher or two in the mix.

  • The day-to-day operations of Harvest Springs are handled by our senior leadership (Lead Pastor & Executive Pastor) along with our pastoral leadership team.  Our Executive Pastor, Paul Hansen, will lead our staff in Cory’s absence.  This is normal protocol any time Cory is gone whether for work related travel or personal reasons.  The Executive Team (Elder Board) serves as the overseers and provides both accountability and authority in tandem with our senior leadership.

  • No.  Our intent is to completely release Cory from any demands of the ministry and being pulled in to ministry related activity and interactions during these three months.  We have a very capable and competent staff and team of people who can assist you.  All communication with Cory during the sabbatical period will be done through Paul or the Sabbatical Team.  He will not be accessible by phone or email.

    But, if you happen to run into him around town, please say “Hello”!  Just don’t ask him about anything church related.

  • The focus of Cory’s sabbatical is three-fold.

    REFRESH : Taking time to rest and allowing God to restore his soul.  This will include times of solitude, reading and memorizing scripture, and probably playing a few rounds of golf (and other activities he enjoys).

    RECONNECT :  Taking time to create a context for deepening relationships within his family; where they know they are important and valued even above the church.  This will include a family trip and intentional one-on-one times to connect with Tosha, as well as with each of his children individually.  

    REVISION : Toward the end of the three months, time will be spent fully focused on prayer, listening, clarifying “what’s next”, and dreaming about what might be; while also aligning his life and ministry with health rhythms and habits to create a good balance for re-entering into the fray and demands of ministry.

  • We understand the concept of sabbatical is new to many, and may generate questions or even concerns.  Please direct those questions directly to our Sabbatical Team or Elders.  They have been involved in the decision process and are the most informed regarding the sabbatical plans.  Our Executive Pastor, Paul Hansen, is the head of the Sabbatical Team.  He can be reached by phone at 406-761-3903 or by email to paul(at) 

    … Or you can submit this Online Form here