Why should pastors regularly take time off?

Well, I am on vacation this week, so I need to be short.  Especially since those who are supposed to be holding me accountable to rest will probably read this.  Here are 2 really important previous posts I did as I struggled to answer this question for myself:

How does a pastor recover from mental and emotional exhaustion?

How much vacation time should a pastor take?

I hope this helps you think through your need as a pastor to get a break from the grind of pastoral ministry and that you schedule one soon if you have not had one for quite some time.


Posted in Home and Family, The Pastor's Soul
4 comments on “Why should pastors regularly take time off?
  1. I’m getting ready to click through to give these links a read, but I’ve wondered about my own time off in a different way.

    I am the pastor of a small church that can’t afford to take me full-time. To pay the bills, I’m also a math teacher at a local public school. I originally signed on to take 3 services a month, but it has ended up being more than that. I’ve been doing Sunday School and afternoon services. Plus the aspects of shepherding these people. I’m tired.

    Without going into more detail (and turning a comment into a blog post), what are your thoughts on vacation time for the part-time (though working full-time) pastor?

    • briancroft says:

      I would say the principle even for a part time pastor are the same. The burdens you carry at the church are not based on how much you get paid. In fact, with trying to juggle teaching Math in the process, would be even more of a reason to make sure you get regular time off. Hold fast, dear brother. You have many burdens to carry.

      • That last sentence summarizes the element of pastoring that I didn’t fully anticipate because of my naivete. If someone would’ve asked me if being a pastor would be a job with burdens, I would have answered, “of course!” But I didn’t fully comprehend their weight.

  2. Ken Ritchie says:

    I hear you Matt, I am bi-vocational too (full time at a newspaper and pastoring a church of about 30) Neither job has regular 9-5 hours and it has been hard to make a priority of rest practical for any sustainable amount of time. It doesn’t take long to fray. I will take vacation from my “day job” this week so I will be freed up slightly and will need to use that time wisely.

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