A Sabbatical is an extended time away from one's vocational duties, commonly provided to teachers and pastors, for the purpose of personal rest, reflection, and renewal. The Sabbatical is based on the Biblical practice of shmita ("Sabbatical year"), a command given to God's people in Exodus 23:10-13 to let the land rest after 6 years of work, mirroring God's intent for weekly rest in the Sabbath. 

After more than 30 years of pastoral ministry at NPFCC, Pastor Ken is more than due for a time of rest and renewal. Fortunately, we have been awarded a sizable grant that will allow us to participate in the Clergy Renewal Program.  NPFCC is one of 148 congregations selected from over 900 applicants to participate in this competitive grant program that is funded by the Lilly Endowment and administered by Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana.


The program will allow us to provide Pastor Ken with a three-month Sabbatical from June 17th to September 10th of this year. As part of the extensive application process, a detailed enrichment plan was submitted that includes travel, rest, and study while focusing on primary relationships.


The grant also provides funds to bring in guest preachers and leaders while pastor Ken is away.  We are excited about the plans that are coming together and the speakers we are bringing in during this time to encourage and challenge our church family, and we are excited about what this time will do to energize Pastor Ken as he leads our church into the future. 

If you have any questions about this, please see Pastor Ken or Elders, Steve Covert or Barry Kirschenmann.


What is the purpose of the sabbatical and how will it help NPFCC achieve our mission?

We are committed to the health and development of our church staff. A sabbatical is a planned time away from the demands of daily ministry to engage in reflection, renewal and rest. It is proven that such experiences invigorate the leadership of pastors and bring new vitality to their congregations as well.  We believe that as Pastor Ken takes this time to encounter God and build on his primary relationships, he will be strengthened to lead our church during the next season of ministry.

How long and when is the sabbatical?

Three months. Beginning June 17, 2019 – September 10, 2019.

What is NPFCC’s policy on Sabbaticals?

After seven years of full time service at NPFCC, the NPFCC Employee Handbook provides a pastor is entitled to a three-month sabbatical. (Pastor Ken has served for 30 years in full time ministry at NPFCC and has not taken a Sabbatical).


What was the decision/approval process of the sabbatical?

Discussions began in late 2017 between Pastor Ken and the Elder Board. The Elder Board approved the Sabbatical plan and we applied for the Sabbatical Grant in April of 2018. NPFCC was awarded the grant in October 2018 to be used during the 2019 calendar year.


What is NPFCC’s history with pastoral sabbaticals?

In 2013, Pastor Jim Buckley took a six-month sabbatical from April – October. He used this time to walk across America.


Are sabbaticals of this nature common for churches today?

Yes, many churches offer sabbaticals to their pastors after a designated number of years of full-time service.


Why does Pastor Ken want time away from the church? Is he coming back?

Pastor Ken believes that this is the best time for him to take a sabbatical. Our church staff and leadership is strong and capable to care for the needs of the church. Our church is healthy and growing and we hope the sabbatical will help Pastor Ken be energized to continue leading NPFCC into the future. Pastor Ken loves the NPFCC family and while looking forward to the time of growth, is excited to return and help lead NPFCC into the future.


Who will be in charge of day to day operations of the church while pastor Ken is away?

We are confident that our church staff will be able handle the day-to-day operations of the church. Our Elders are available whenever needed for spiritual direction and leadership. Both our staff and elders are available if there are any emergencies in the church family as well.


Who will be preaching during the Sabbatical?

We will have a mix of other church staff as well as guest speakers chosen by pastor Ken and our Sabbatical planning team prior to the beginning of sabbatical. The sabbatical planning team is: Ken LaMont, Devan Bumstead, Steve Covert, Joyce Dowding, and Barry Kirschenmann.


What will pastor Ken be doing during the sabbatical?

He will be doing some traveling with his wife Brenda on a Footsteps of Paul Tour to visit key locations of churches in the New Testament like Corinth, Ephesus, Athens, Rome, etc… Then he will be spending time with his family and some personal retreats for times of reading and reflection.


How much will this cost the church?

Nothing. NPFCC has received the 2018 National Clergy Renewal Program, funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and administered by Christian Theological Seminary. The grant covers all expenses for pastor Ken’s sabbatical as well as the cost for guest speakers. The grant amount awarded was $46,300


Will pastor Ken be paid while on sabbatical?

Yes, one of the stipulations for the grant was that the pastor awarded the sabbatical be paid their regular salary while on sabbatical.


Will this be considered Pastor Ken’s vacation time for the year?

No, the guidelines for the sabbatical state clearly this is not to be considered a vacation but time away for reflection and renewal.


Will we be able to contact Pastor Ken during the Sabbatical?

Contact will be limited to emergencies only, as determined by church leadership, and will only be able to be initiated through the office.


Who are the staff and elders at NPFCC?


Lead Pastor – Ken LaMont

Associate Pastor – Devan Bumstead

Teaching Pastor – Jim Buckley

Student Ministries Director – Shawn Saiger

Children’s Ministry Director – Crystal Stenner

Church Administrator – Gary Arthington

Office Administrator – Joyce Dowding


Barry Kirschenmann – Chairman

Bob Dowding – Vice Chairman

Jim Morrow – Secretary

Steve Covert

Jason Buckley

Chris Syverson

Rick Locke