Pastor Vacation

Pastor vacation time needs to be clearly established so that everyone in the church understands how much time your pastor has off. This is important because there are always a few individuals who feel like the pastor is "always gone." The simplest way to ensure there's no confusion is to make vacation part of your clergy compensation package.

_________________________
Download the entire pastor salary section of My-Pastor.com in an ebook format. You can print as many copies as you want. And it will look better than printing each of the 11 pages directly from the web site.
See this page for more information.
_________________________

How Much Pastor Vacation Is Enough?

Start with three weeks of clergy vacation per year. After four to six years of ministry in your church, give your pastor four weeks of vacation each year.

If you read all the pages I wrote about pastor compensation you'll discover that I recommend pastors receive four weeks of vacation a year, plus guest speakers following at least two pastor retreats and annual continuing education. You might begin to wonder if your pastor will ever preach.

But all I'm suggesting is that you allow your pastor to be completely absent four Sundays a year. He can be present but not preach another three or four Sundays a year. That's only once every six weeks. That, I think, is a very small sacrifice for a church to make.

To be honest, you really don't want your pastor to preach and teach week after week without any breaks. Each sermon takes something out of him spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. He needs retreats, continuing education, and most importantly, vacation in order to rest, refresh, and refocus.

Why Pastor Vacation Is Important

There are many reasons why clergy vacation is important. You know most of them because you understand how important vacations are to you and your family. However, there are a few things that make vacation time even more important for pastors.

  • Your pastor typically works six days a week and/or 50-60 hours each week.
  • Your pastor is on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Even vacations and days off are sometimes shortened by ministry demands. My first vacation in my first ministry was cut short by a death in the church.
  • Family time is often crowded out by ministry. Your pastor needs more vacation to compensate for this challenge.
  • He likely lives more than a 1/2 days drive from either his wife's family or his own family. So he needs to use vacation days to visit his relatives.
  • Your church is probably not his first pastorate. When a pastor transitions from one church to another he shouldn't lose pastor vacation time. He should at least keep the same number of vacation weeks as he had previously.
  • Helping-professions have a higher rate of burnout than do other jobs. Teachers, counselors, doctors, social workers, and pastors burn out at a higher rate than other professions.

These are among the most significant reasons why your pastor needs at least three and preferably four weeks of vacation each year.

Pastor Vacation Conclusion

_________________________
Download the entire pastor salary section of My-Pastor.com in an ebook format. You can print as many copies as you want. And it will look better than printing each of the 11 pages directly from the web site.
See this page for more information.
_________________________

Vacation for your pastor isn't a luxury... it's a necessity. Without it your pastor will burn out and you will be looking for a new shepherd. So be generous with time off. You'll notice the positive difference in your pastor and in your church.

-----------------------

Return to the pastor salary page when you're finished with this pastor vacation page.

New! Comments

What do you think? Have something to add?