How should a pastor spend his Lord’s Day while on vacation?

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!

Posted in Home and Family, The Pastor's Soul
4 comments on “How should a pastor spend his Lord’s Day while on vacation?
  1. What if you have to preach in order to afford a vacation? 😉

    • briancroft says:

      Sure, there will be some exceptions. However, I will say that what I typically get paid to preach else where does not come close to covering my cost for vacation, but you may be in a different situation. My experience, if we plan well, whether we can afford to vacation is not dependant upon whether we preach or not. If that is the case, I would encourage you to stay home and vacation and go to someone else’s church that Sunday. That is what I did this past week. Good question.

  2. Paul Tautges says:

    Great counsel, Brian. Thanks, my friend. That reminds me, it’s time for a vacation. 🙂

  3. Brian,

    Thanks for the post. I know many pastors who brag about not going to church on vacation but not me. I love it for many reasons. One, I can show up late and sit in the back. Two, I have no responsibility. Three, it reminds me of what it is like to be an outsider looking in. Four, experiencing a different style of worship is refreshing. Five, the preaching of the Word fill me up.

    We often spend time with friends in Charlotte, North Carolina during the summer. I have two churches I visit when I am there. They are both very different but they both inspire me.

    Pastors go to church on vacation. It will do you a world of good.

4 Pings/Trackbacks for "How should a pastor spend his Lord’s Day while on vacation?"
  1. […] How should a pastor spend his Lord’s Day while on vacation 100% agree with Brian Croft on this one, especially […]

  2. […] most will answer, “I want to sit with my husband during church.”  This is why you should not preach while on vacation.  If you are not regularly preaching on Sundays, do all you can to sit with your wife.  A day will […]

  3. […] How should a pastor spend his Lord’s day while on vacation? […]

  4. […] vacation, most will answer, “I want to sit with my husband during church.”  This is why you should not preach while on vacation.  If you are not regularly preaching on Sundays, do all you can to sit with your wife.  A day will […]

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