Last week my family started a new tradition. We went on a mini-vacation. Easter was crazy and I needed a break. Recently I was reading a blog post about pastors who quit and it said that within 5 years 80% of seminary students quit the ministry, 50% of pastor’s marriages end in divorce, and 1500-1800 ministry leaders quit each month. This is terrifying to me. I think too often it happens because pastors do not take care of themselves. As a Methodist I get four weeks paid vacation and I know Methodist pastors who don’t even use a full week. I know pastors that are putting in 60-70+ hours each week in work. I know pastors struggling with depression, self-esteem issues and various forms of self medication.
Too often pastors feel like they are so busy helping others that if they take a week off then the world will collapse.
Too often pastors feel like so many people are depending on them.
Too often pastors feel like they are supposed to be the most spiritual in the group and if they admit their pain they aren’t qualified.
Too often congregation members believe the pastor is at the beckon call of their whims.
This can all be corrected by vacation. A few days to step away from
work ministry and reconnect with your family, your soul, and your God. Moses did this, Jesus did this, and you should do this.
Go; unplug your phone, don’t check your email, tip large, and spend uninterrupted time with your family.
But you might be sitting there thinking: “But I can’t because _______”
Stop! You are only in ministry because you stopped making excuses for why you couldn’t do it and by faith you jumped in both feet and so now, by faith, stop making excuses, jump in with both feet and trust that God is working in the details.
God is already putting in place the people you need to take over your responsibilities while you are away. God is already orchestrating everything you need to relax.
Those stats I got from this website