Create a Plan for Your Time off the Field

Planning your furlough isn’t simply about having the peace of mind of a clear plan, though that’s a pretty big perk! Making plans for your time during furlough is also about communicating your plan so family, friends, partners, and pastors have appropriate expectations of where you’ll be spending your time.

Planning, then communicating that plan allows you to act from a place of purpose, rather than obligation or guilt. A clear plan gives you the power and privilege to create the space to connect with people you need and want to connect with, and invite them to meet you during those times.

Use these questions to make the most of your time on your furlough.

Define Success

1- What is the purpose of this furlough?

2- How would you prioritize the following?

Rest, family, ministry partner development, fundraising, time with partnered churches.

3- How would you define success in the following areas during your furlough?

Resting, connecting with family, partnership development, fundraising, connecting with potential church partnerships, scheduling.

Schedule Your Time

1- How did you define a successful schedule (above)?

2- What events would you like to schedule?

3- What events do you need to schedule?

Make some decisions about when these events should be scheduled, who you need to talk to about scheduling them, and what deadline you want to set for yourself to get them scheduled.

Plan for Rest

Planning for a successful schedule makes planning for rest possible. Mark 6:31 says, “Because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.' "

1- What does rest look like for you?

2- What does rest need to look like before furlough? (It’s important to have rest between on the field ministry and active furlough, how can you make that happen?)

3- What days/times do you want to set aside for rest throughout furlough?

4- What does rest need to look like between furlough and returning to the field?

Clear Communication Goals

1- Identify who could have a problem with this plan. And how can you help them feel validated and valued, but still hold to your priorities?

2- Who do you need to communicate this plan to?

3- How do you want to communicate this?

4- When do you need to communicate this plan for your furlough time?

Be Aware of Obstacles

1- What other obstacles may get in your way that you can plan ahead for?

2- What can you do to to have flexibility and support around these obstacles?

Finally, evaluate your own plan. On a scale from 1-10, how satisfied are you with this plan? (10 being the highest) What’s missing to make it a 10?


Jenny Karr, Director of Training & Coaching Services

My mission is to train, equip, and support people in ministry and as the Director of Training and Coaching Services, I get to do all of those things in one role! When I’m not coaching, training, or writing blogs, I’m enjoying time at home or in the city with my husband, daughter, and friends here in Nashville, TN.

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