Everyone needs time off, a vacation, a chance to think about things other than work. This is no less true for the small church pastor than anyone else.  Pastor, you need to get away from time to time.

Many pastors have trouble with this.  After all, we are called of God to this work and He will give us the extra energy we need to function.  Our job is not like others--souls hang in the balance and we must be there if we are going to minister to people.  We just don;t have time to get away.

Sometimes church members don't think the pastor should be gone.  I recall at one church I was gone one Sunday and the treasurer didn't think I should be paid for my time off.  Fortunately, others set things straight and there was no trouble caused.  But I have seen entire churches that gave their pastors a hard time if they wanted some time off.

But being a pastor is a high pressure calling.  And any doctor will tell you that people in vocations that have a lot of tension must have down time.  If not, serious health problems can result.  Which is better, a pastor who takes a little time off, or a pastor who is constantly sick?

And don't fool yourself into thinking you accomplish more work than other pastors just because you don't take time out.  There was once a wagon train headed for California.  When Sunday came, a group refused to go on, saying the Lord had ordained a day of rest.  The majority disagreed, stating they needed to get west as soon as possible and they pushed on.  Of course, this trip took months.  Each Sunday the little group rested giving themselves and their animals a break.  Before reaching California, the small group caught up to and passed the other and arrived first.

You are no different.  You are kidding yourself if you think your church will be better if you constantly work and never rest.  God built the sabbath principle into the universe and you cannot get around it.

Also, failing to get away will take it's toll on your family.  They may put up a bold front and claim they understand, but the fact is you are causing damage to your wife and kids if you never get away.  I know of a man who has been a great pastor.  But he refused to go on vacations or even miss a single Sunday. He was very passionate for the ministry.  But his wife of many years finally left him.  He sadly miscalculated his priorities.

Pastor, do yourself, your family, and your church a favor.  Take time out and get your batteries recharged.