I read today that John Piper is taking an 8 month leave of absence, not a sabbatical. He's taking the break because of "a growing sense that my soul, my marriage, my family, and my ministry-pattern need a reality check from the Holy Spirit."
I suspect that reaching this kind of conclusion is not exclusive the John Piper, but is shared by many of us who would be described as pastors or leaders whether full-time or not, stipendary or not. But it is a brave pastor who openly confesses it as such and a brave leadership that sees the value of such a time away.
Ministry offers precious few slow days during which one can find sufficient rest and refreshment. The simple truth is that we are often too busy for a reality check. Somehow we need to recognise the need and be brave enough to withdraw from the daily demands in order to put things right with God.
I pray that John Piper will come back strengthened and refreshed, more deeply and intimately connected to God and more whole in all his relationships. I can pray this for him because it's what I pray for myself too.