Make Sure Your Pastor Takes Time Off

by Craig Webb , Henry Webb on Monday, June 05, 2006

"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)

Make Sure Your Pastor Takes Time Off

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.

One day off per 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.

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."

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.

Time for a family vacation each 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.

Craig Webb is pastor for vision & purpose, and for adult ministries at Gladeville Baptist Church, Gladeville, Tennesee. He edits the Pastors Today e-newsletter for LifeWay Christian Resources.

Dr. R. Henry Webb is retired director of pastoral ministries at LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, Tennessee. Before coming to LifeWay in 1977, he served as a pastor for thirteen years in Hawaii. He is the author of Deacons: Servant Models in the Church. He is currently serving as coordinator for LifeWay's Transitional Pastor training program and is a transitional pastor in Murray, Kentucky.

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