Sunday, January 02, 2011

Why I go to my own Church when I'm on Vacation

I attended church at Grace this past weekend. This is not earth-shattering news since I'm the Senior Pastor there. What makes this time different though, is that I was on vacation. Many Pastors use their vacation time to visit other churches. I do this on occasion too. There are tremendous advantages to attending other churches while on vacation. You can relax, not feel the crunch of people issues and worship details, you can scout out what other churches do well and bring some of those ideas back to your own church (and if you attend another church locally, you can also say hello to folks who have left your church to attend that church - which is always an interesting encounter!) But when I'm in town I love going to Grace as a normal attendee because...
  1. Community -I'm not just the 'hired help' at Grace, but I'm part of the covenant community there. I absolutely love my church and I miss it when I'm not there. I miss the people, the corporate worship, the preaching. When attending Grace while on vacation, I get to sit out in the seats in a different section of the worship center, and worship alongside members of my church family. (I almost scared the life out of one guy who came in late and scooted in next to me without realizing it- you would have thought he saw a ghost when he finally looked over and saw it was me).
  2. Family - I love going to Grace with Kim and our kids while on vacation. It demonstrates to them the value of covenant community. But more practically, usually I have to leave early to get to church, so I'm not part of the pre-church routine with Kim. But on vacation weeks I can go into their rooms and wake them up, make them pancakes, help get them ready, drop them off at the front door while I park the car, etc. I know many people take these moments for granted... but not pastors. (I also found out the hard way that it's not acceptable to offer all the kids gum in the car on the way to church... it's the little things!)
  3. Team Support - I love to come to Grace and support our teams while on vacation. It allows me to experience the friendliness of the ushers when we walk in and the hospitality in our children's ministry. I get to fully participate in worship (and sing especially loud) without having to think about what's coming next, and I get to sit under the teaching of some of our great pastors. It's a different perspective and vantage point by which to experience the life and character of our church.
I would highly recommend that all pastors carve out at least one or two weekends a year where you use your vacation to attend your own church.

1 comment:

amy grace said...

love this! josh and i attended this weekend together as attendees and not volunteers. usually i go early for children's church on weeks when i'm not singing, but it was great to go with him, normal time and just relax, worship and learn!