Conversation with My Senior Pastor

Actually, he was  scolding and chastising me. I guess the better word is lecturing.
And to be honest with you, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It took me a couple of minutes to register what was really being said to me. I didn’t know how to react. I just started chuckling.
He asked, “what’s so funny?”
And I replied, “This conversation!”

Of course this could sound really bad.
But it wasn’t at all.

I was asking my SP if I could take a week off in March to head out to Vegas to see my sister-in-law, because the wife really wanted to see some family, since we frequent my parents a lot.

He asked me how many vacations I’ve taken so far, and I said none. It’s not like I didn’t mean to. The once a month or so Thurs – Saturday visits to Oxnard to see my parents, they were really refreshing in of itself. They were my mini-vacations. We loved the fact that my parents would fattened us up. We loved the fact that we weren’t in OC for those couple of days. So I felt rested and renewed every time I headed back to OC from Oxnard.
But my senior pastor looked at me and asked “None!?”
He was rather annoyed that I hadn’t taken a vacation yet.
And he was annoyed (more than me) that I wouldn’t be able to use all four weeks of my vacation, given the schedule. So he gave me next week off, and then a week in April, and told me to use my vacation time more wisely.
Why did I laugh?
Because this was the first time I’ve ever heard this coming from my senior pastor.
In my last setting, I felt like I had to pull teeth to get vacation time.  My senior pastor boasted that in 6 years of his ministry there, he had yet taken a vacation. And I thought to myself, that’s not something to be boasting of. So it felt difficult, as a youth pastor, asking for my vacation weeks, when he, the senior pastor, hadn’t taken a vacation for years. And the sad part is, I think there are quite a few Korean pastors who still operate like that.

I really had to reassess what I was hearing. And I couldn’t help but laugh. C’mon, who ever heard of being lectured for NOT taking vacation?

I’m looking forward to next week.
And I thanked my senior pastor for his words and guidance.
I’m just really thankful that I have a pastor who cares for my soul more than what statistics I can bring to the church, which is a new experience for me.

And I can assure you, from July 09 to July 10, my four weeks of vacation will be used up.

3 thoughts on “Conversation with My Senior Pastor

  1. It’s not just a Korean thing; there are a lot of pastors with that kind of unhealthy work ethic. I worked with one of those pastors, a workaholic who was proud to be it. In fact, the church where I serve now had one of those pastors (two pastors ago) but at least he didn’t have a staff to work with him (slave under him).

    As lead pastor, I have had (with our associate) the same conversation your senior pastor had with you, demanding that he take his day off (before I got here, he hadn’t had a day off in over 8 months).

    There is NO sense in burning out our leaders. Jesus took his time off and spent it with his Father. If Jesus even needed it, how much more do we?

  2. I’m so glad you and Rahel will have time off–at least I hope Rahel also will be able to get away with you! I agree with the first comment that the workaholic pastors need to remember that Jesus took time off to get away from the crowds and commune with our Heavenly Father. We humans need to get a different perspective, and sometimes merely getting out of the same county helps.
    Blessings to you and your family.

  3. God said to take a day in seven off. I think this rest period is good. We need vacation to rejuvinate sometimes. Its not unusual for people to believe they are indispendible or that if they if they take time off their congregants wll find out they are NOT indispensible. Its God’s ministry, not ours. We are God’s people. We should realize that even the land got a respite every few years for an entire year. We need our respite as well.

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