Your Pastor Needs Time Off - You Can Help
“The elders who are good leaders should be considered worthy of an ample honorarium (Literally of double honor, or possibly of respect and remuneration), especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says: ‘You must not muzzle an ox that is threshing grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’” 1 Tim 5:17-18 (HCSB)
As a deacon, elder, or other church leader, you have an opportunity to encourage your pastor to get regular rest, refreshment, and spiritual renewal. A practical way to do this is to make certain your pastor takes regular time off and ensure that he has a way to do it.
As a personal mission, ensure that your pastor takes time-off in the following three areas:
1. Make sure he takes at least one day off a week
The biblical command to take a weekly Sabbath applies to your pastor and staff. Knowing that Sunday is a very full and draining day, encourage your pastor to find a day when he can enjoy his family and get needed rest.
You can protect your pastor’s day-off by providing cover for day-to-day crises that come up as well as vital hospital or homebound visitation.
Personally remind your church family that your pastor is working when he is ...
· attending committee meetings.
· at the hospital.
· attending a party for a birthday, a graduation, or a wedding anniversary.
· eating lunch with a prospective member.
· hosting people with his wife in their home.
2. Make sure your pastor gets at least one week a year for training and continuing education.
In a survey done for LifeWay by Elliston Research, Ron Sellars found that, “Many pastors aren’t being encouraged to further their education by leaders in the church." (Survey: Ministers Find Time, Money For Continuing Education)
As a deacon, you can be a champion for the continuing education and skill development of your pastor. Encourage your church to provide money in the budget for conference fees as well as travel, lodging, and meal expenses. Then, make sure that he is provided time-off to do so.
3. Make sure your pastor is able to take time for a family vacation with his family every year.
Time for church trips, conventions, or mission trips should not be considered vacation time even if your pastor attaches his vacation to such a trip. Some churches provide a fund to assist with vacation expenses. Sometimes church members give their pastor frequent flier miles and/or a week at their vacation home or use of a time-share.
For more information about the Deacon Ministry contact Laura Hawley at 765-0030 ext. 2500.
This article first appeared in Deacon Magazine (used by permission). You may print this and distribute it to your leaders.