8 Things to Remember When Your Pastor Takes a Vacation

My dear church,

Behind my personal faith, marriage, and children, my role as your pastor stands as my greatest honor in life. I love every week the challenge and privilege of bringing God’s love and words to you. But this week my role as husband and father eclipses that of a pastor.

I am leaving on a jet plane (not really), hitting the road, clocking out…taking a vacation

I would like you to remember 8 things over the next seven days.

  1. Love God with all your heart soul and mind. God didn’t call me to do that for you. He didn’t design the church to love him. He called you to love him.
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself. Church institutions don’t love people. People love people. There is no possible way I as a 32-year-old white man know all the ways you can show love to your neighbor. Show active, self-sacrificing, creative love this week.
  3. Invest in your family. I probably won’t take too many calls because I’m trying to do just that. Even if you have a 60 hour work week… Make time for your family. Jobs will come and go but family hopefully stays forever.
  4. Jesus said He will build His church. Not Daniel Bryan. Jesus has been in the business of building his church with good help and bad for thousands of years. Whether you think the world of my work or not, the church depends more on Jesus’ continued work than mine. Lift up your church in prayer.
  5. Be the pastor this week. I only showed up at Cornerstone Bible Church after you guys existed 25 years. I’m out this week. Who could you visit to encourage? Who could you love on? What ministry could you do?
  6. Contact me, but only as a friend. I want to hear anything you can tell me about tech news or pickle ball or a great movie. I want to laugh with friends! I love people, that’s part of why I serve in minister. Please remember, however, relationships represent part of my work. Please start with the other 3 elders with any church question or personal crisis. As a small church pastor I’m involved in most everything so I’ll probably still get a text from them. But please, start with them.
  7. Pray for physical/emotional renewal for me. Preaching, teaching, and counseling are devastatingly exhausting efforts. I agonize weekly over my sermon. Typically I spend time every Sunday on my face in the men’s bathroom begging God to use my efforts. I follow church with a long nap to recover.
  8. Pray spiritual protection for me. I face spiritual attacks every time I try to prepare for a sermon, counseling session, or otherwise. Many times I fend them off in God’s strength, other times I lose battles. The more Satan gets me depressed about my failures, the less effectively I preach. Pray God’s protection for me.
  • Conclusion
  • I will miss you all and pray for you. Though this week I plan to think much more about my family. I truly believe the church is the hope of the world.
  • Be the church today!—Just without me for a week.

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