Someone recently asked me, "Are you going to take a vacation this summer?" My experience is that the summer season is not a vacation time for many of us who serve on church staff.
Late spring is the season when you finish up on the September to May ministry and then evaluate how things are going. During the next few weeks, you'll want to look back and ask:
- How did things go?
- How can we improve?
- Should we do this ministry again?
- What will this ministry be like in September?
You need to do this review before the end of June. If you wait until July, then people will already be making plans for September. If they start making plans based on faulty assumptions or the lack of a good review, who knows what will happen!
Many team members will want time off during July and August, and that's okay. But when people aren't on vacation, it is the time to make plans for September. Youth staff will be incredibly busy with trips, outings, and service projects. Don't stop your staff meetings even though people are away or busy. Keep on meeting and talking about the vision for September:
- What is the fall sermon series?
- What are the major initiatives for the fall and how can you get the entire team on board with them?
- What special events, such as a Halloween party or Christmas outreach, will dominate your ministry calendar?
- How are plans being developed for each individual ministry department?
These are just a few of the things in my own bag of tricks this summer, as well as some special projects with the Board. One of our key pastors is going on study break in August, so I better stay around during that month!
All of this is to say that my vacation doesn't happen in the summer. I prefer to get the church launched in September and then consider a vacation in October or November ... and totally unplug for the time off!
David Fletcher is the executive pastor of EvFree Fullerton in Fullerton, California, and the founder of XPastor.org. This article is adapted with permission from the XPastor e-newsletter.
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