Pastor, I want to try to convince you to step away from your pulpit for at least two Sundays this summer. I understand if you are reluctant to take a preaching break, but humor me by at least considering these three reasons for stepping away from your pulpit for a couple of weeks.
1. You really need a break.
Some of you are preaching on empty and need to lead yourself better. Re-charging is not selfish because we are better when rested. Better preachers. Better pastors. Better people all the way around. If you can take two off in a row, that is ideal because slow charges are more efficient and the benefits last longer. If you cannot take two in a row, at least shoot for two before fall.
2. Your family needs your undivided attention.
You already know how important it is to invest in your family. Your ministry will never be stronger than your family. Give them your undivided attention if you hope to have a united home.
If you are an empty nester like me, spend some time alone with your spouse. If you have children still at home, my advice is exactly the same. Treat your wife like the VIP she is by ditching the kids for a few days. How and how often you whisk your wife away on a romantic trip will be different during the child-raising season. Taking time off for your family, especially Sundays, preaches the equivalent of a family or marriage sermon series.
3. Equippers share their ministry.
It is easy to preach on equipping the saints until it comes time to actually give your ministry away. When we think we are indispensable to our churches, we are fooling ourselves and insulting our members. We wrongly assume that masses of people will skip church if someone besides us is preaching.
Leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. –Tom Peters
Here is the good/bad news: our church will do just fine without us. We need to demonstrate faith in Jesus that his Bride is stronger than its pastor. We also need to show some confidence in our members. If we really believe that all the parts of the body are important (1 Corinthians 12), there is no better way of doing that than giving them a clean handoff without you hovering over them.
So, go play this summer. Have fun with your family. Re-introduce yourself to your inner child and let him out to play. God knows you need it.