Randy C. Davis on How Pastors Can Maximize Their Vacation

I love vacations, but I have to work at them. I have trouble “turning off” the ministry mode.

When my youngest daughter was about 11, she said, “Daddy, I bet these folks hate to hear you’re on vacation.” When I asked why, she said, “Because they know one of them is going to die.”

Too many vacations were cut short or at least interrupted because the girls’ pastor-daddy had to go home to conduct a funeral. They never turned bitter, and even now they remind me of the fun we had on family vacations, but I could have handled those times better as a pastor and a father.

Minister, you’ve got to become proficient at taking vacations. They should rest your body, restore your soul, renew your mind, and if you have family, rejuvenate your entire clan.

Here are 10 simple tips I’ve learned the hard way over the years that I hope you’ll consider as you prepare for summer vacation.

(1) Relax, you’ve earned it!

The Lord retreated from the crowds (Luke 5:16) so you should too. You constantly give of yourself as a minister but too often believe you have to justify why you would dare take time away. Get over it. The church gives you time off, so go and enjoy it.

(2) Recruit deacons and other church members to cover your responsibilities.

They really do want to help. Relinquish control. You’ll relax easier knowing others “have your back.” By enabling others, you’re developing leaders. In the words of a famous Disney character, “Let it go.”

(3) Consider a longer vacation.

Five or six days are not enough. Most of us need two or three days just to wind down. Years ago, I started making sure that my vacation was at least eight days. Take two Sundays off in a row. You and your family need the two weeks off. I promise, the church is strong enough to last two weeks without you.

(4) Give leaders plenty of advance notice, months if possible.

They can help you protect that time commitment. Put it on your calendar at least a year in advance. Consider it a sacred commitment for your family and do not change the date. I once saw a bumper sticker that read, “God loves you and everybody else has a perfect plan for your life.” People will plan that time for you if you don’t commit to it.

(5) Minimize.

The best vacations are those that are simple and not over-scheduled. My favorite vacations are sitting in a lounge chair resting in sugar-white sand by the Gulf of Mexico listening to some of the great old “hymns” like “Help Me Rhonda.” Play board games with your kids and grandkids, go on long walks with your significant other. Just relax.

Click here to read more.
Source: Baptist Press