The craziness of Sundays is typically what a Pastor needs a break from when looking to be recharged while on vacation. As a result, some might think the best way for a pastor to rest from the pressures and grind of Sundays is not to go to church at all while on vacation. Although, forsaking the assembly (Heb. 10:25) is not quite what I had in mind, here are a few suggestions I was reminded of while on a much needed vacation this past week:
1) Go to church where you will be faithfully fed the Word of God. Do your homework ahead of time and find a church of either a friend you know or one you found on reliable church search site like 9 marks, gospel coalition, founders, etc. I went to hear one of my dearest friends preach at his church because I knew this man would faithful preach God’s Word and feed myself and my family. It was an excellent Word and my family and I had a lively discussion about it at lunch.
2) Sit with your wife and help your children sing, listen, and participate. Something most all our church members do not realize is that the pastor’s wife is one of the few in the entire public gathering of the church week in week out who has to take care of the children during the service all alone. Her husband is always preaching. The few moments when you as a pastor are able to be away and not tied up leading the service and preaching is the perfect time to serve your family by giving your wife some help.
This past Sunday, I loved not only being able to just sit and hear the Word of God, but to help my son follow the sermon; to help my daughter follow the hymns sung. If you polled most pastor’s wives, that help is one of the things you would find they enjoy most about going to church while on vacation, which leads to the next one that may sting a bit…
3) Do not preach while on vacation. Trust me on this. Pastors, I have failed too many times at this and you need to listen to me. If your wife’s opportunity to sit with you and get your help with the children is one of the things she loves most about church during vacation, there is no better way to crush her spirit and rob her of her opportunity to be relieved of her weekly grind than to preach while on vacation.
No doubt, I have put just about every “holy-like” spin on it, but it does not matter. Yes, I know we are preachers of the gospel and we should never turn down an opportunity to preach. If there is ever a good time to turn an opportunity down…this is it. The bottom line is not only does she need a break from her solo role, but Pastor, you need one from yours. Turn it down. Be fed and rest. There is plenty of preaching waiting for you when you return home.
Pastors, you do not have to forsake the gathering to get a break and rest from the grind. We do, however, need to be mindful to lead our families well in how we spend those few moments where we can sit, listen, be fed, and do so together as a family. Then, we can leave with no further church responsibilities. That’s vacation!