For most people, a holiday weekend is something to look forward to. It represents time off, a chance to be with family and friends, a day to relax or maybe do some traveling. To church pastors, holiday weekends may be anything but. For a church pastor, it might mean any of the following:
A weekend with low Sunday attendance – Many of the faithful could be out of town, or entertaining guests and thus distracted or unavailable. It may mean shuffling personnel to cover for volunteers who will be out of town. Holiday weekends can be mildly dreaded by church pastors.
Paradoxically, the above is not always true. It may be a weekend when there will be a disproportionate number of visitors (Mother’s Day, Christmas, Easter.) As a young pastor I was always anxious to impress these passersby – not one of my better motives.
A weekend with extra services to prepare for, greater schedule demands (Christmas, Easter.) This brings a much busier schedule and more pressure.
More challenging sermon preparation – “What can I say this year that is different from last year and the year before that?” (Christmas, Easter, other holidays)
Depending on what tradition or denomination these demands come with lesser or greater intensity. One pastor recently admitted he was exhausted after Holy Week. It was a blessed season and rewarding but his tradition offered all the possible Holy Week observances.
So the next time a holiday weekend rolls around, consider offering a special prayer for your church pastor that God’s grace would be poured out abundantly.
This blog post was written by Phil Engelman, Director of Grace Valley Ministries and Regional Director for North Georgia for Barnabas Ministries. He also wrote, Overcoming Temptation, a previous blog post.