Thom S. Rainer: When Should Pastors Interrupt Their Vacations?

Because many schools are out most of the summer, pastors, like many families, choose to take their vacations this time of year. But many pastors are keenly aware of the risk of being called home for an emergency during their vacations. It is more common than most church members realize.

So, what should pastors do if the interruption takes place? Without giving specific details, let me share with you five considerations for pastors confronted with this reality.

  • Interrupted vacations should be the exception. One pastor shared with us his vacation had been interrupted seven of the eight past attempts to get away. I bluntly told him he was deeming too many things to be an emergency. I also told him he was sacrificing his family to please other church members. That brings me to the second point.
  • Your family remembers these interruptions. We have heard from grown pastors’ kids who still remember the pain of interrupted vacations. They still remember the angst every time the phone rang on vacation. Their perception is often that they really didn’t matter as much as other church members.
  • Pastors need a back-up plan in place. Even in small churches, you need someone to visit the hospitals and respond to emergencies. Funerals can typically be covered by a pastor of another church. Indeed, some pastors have reciprocal agreements much like physicians who need back-up plans for vacations.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Thom S. Rainer