Why Vacations Matter

Work matters. Ministry matters. There is so much to do in ministry that it can be time consuming and time dominating. However, in a world where work matters and we tend to work way too much, vacations matter more. In fact, having consistent vacations is essential to help make ministers more effective.

I know, I know…our work as ministers is very important and we need to do it well. But that also means we need to take vacations and do them well. And I have found that when we do vacations well, we come back and do ministry even better.

How is that? Here are a few reasons.

vacations1. It’s a chance to reset and recharge. Work is demanding, vacation is not (at least it shouldn’t be). When you get away from work and relax it changes everything. Hopefully you allow yourself to relax, not focus on work stuff and recharge your batteries so that you can work hard when you get back. No church or ministry needs a person who is burned out because they work too hard and didn’t take enough breaks.  So get out on vacation so you can reset and recharge.

2. It gives you a chance to unplug and unwind. Let’s be honest, we live in a digital world where we are always connected.  Now, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  However, when we are always connected we may not know how to disconnect and just “be” (Hear about Ryan’s adventure in disconnecting). That is why when we are on vacation sometimes the best thing we can do is unplug and disconnect from it all.  Sit, relax, don’t check your email or text messages until later (or at all) and just “be” still. Maybe you can even learn or try something new while you are on vacation.

3. It gives you a chance to reconnect with your family. Man, I wish I could take back all the times I have said to my family, “I’ll help out when I just finish this ____________ (insert phone call, email, text message, posting, sermon thought, or any other ministry related thing honestly).” Have you ever felt that way before? Sure, we wish we could take some of those moments back. But since you can’t, you can use your vacation as a way to reconnect with your family.  Now, vacation shouldn’t be the ONLY time for you to connect and be with your family…I’m not saying that. However, vacation is a great time and opportunity for you to be with them and reconnect…especially if you aren’t.

There was a time when I felt that my ministry and work mattered more. I didn’t take many vacations.  In fact, I would go years with only taking a very minimal amount of vacation time.  It was very unhealthy on a variety of levels.  However, over the years I have learned the value and benefit of using AND enjoying my vacation time.  It not only benefits me and my family but it also benefits my ministry as well.

So, are you having consistent vacations each year? Why or why not? Share below how you have benefited from taking vacation regularly?

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

One thought on “Why Vacations Matter

  • June 21, 2016 at 3:53 am

    Tom, thanks for a great reminder. You are so right! I think many times it’s so hard to stop because there’s just so much to do and we want to do most of it until we can rest and relax. Which sometimes just doesn’t happen and while we finish a few things, many new ones come up. That’s how I feel anyway. But like you said, we need to recharge our batteries otherwise we won’t be able to do anything because we will burn out. Thanks for writing and sharing this Tom!


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