It is summer, and that can mean only one thing: unbearably hot weather.

OK, it actually means two things: In addition to the miserable weather, it is also the time most of us take vacations. Why we have chosen to overlap our days away with the worst weather of the year is a mystery, but there you go.

Vacations, when we get them, can be wonderful things. As Robert Orben once observed, “A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.”

Bob Newhart commented, “Comedians are never really on vacation because you’re always at attention…that antenna is always out there.” Preachers are a bit like that—we’re never really off in the sense that we are always thinking about the church and the next sermon. Still, we need to do our best to get away when possible if for no other reason than to remember there is life beyond our church walls.

Andy Rooney once said, “The best thing about a vacation is planning it.” Chances are you already have planned your vacation for this year; but just in case, I’ve been thinking about some promising vacation options for pastors and church leaders. Maybe you should consider:
• Why not try a visit to Sea World, where you can look at sharks that don’t actually get to vote on your salary?
• This one sounds good to me: a week in a remote cabin just out of cell phone range.
• There’s always the reverse vacation: Send your most annoying members on a trip, and you sit in your office and read peacefully all week.
• Maybe you can take a cruise, where you can watch other people work hard to keep something afloat.

Best of all…
• Visit the church of a friend, hear him preach, then tell him what a great sermon it was and how much you were blessed. It will benefit you, and it will be as good as a vacation to your preacher friend!

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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