How Church Leaders Should Spend Their Day Off

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Church leaders and staff are some of the busiest people I know. A typical schedule for church leaders is six days on and one day off, so personal time is very limited. With only one day of personal time a week, it is important that you maximize your time in the healthiest way possible to enjoy it.

Here are some fun and effective ways to restore yourself on your day off this week.

1. Family time

We are huge proponents here of spending time with your family; they should be at the top of your priority list outside of your relationship with Jesus. Take time on your day off to have breakfast with your family, go to your local park, have a picnic, or play a yard game. One year my family and I (brothers, sister-in-laws, the whole gang) spent a day off by playing laser tag and I will always hold that memory dear. We were all adults, but that didn’t prevent us from having fun and enjoying our time together. Even if you don't plan something extravegant, spending time with family is the easiest way to recharge on your day off. 

2. Hands-on work

Invest in a hobby. Work around the house, garden, or build that table you’ve always talked about making. Your hobbies and time off should consist of things and skills you don’t use in your everyday work. Take time to be more than just a pastor and use the other gifts that God has given you, whether that be building something, creating something, or trying something new.

3. Personal time

Turn your phone off for an hour and go walk a trail, find a quiet space, or go get a massage. It is so important for church leaders to find daily time alone, so this is especially important on a day off. Make sure you don’t have any time constraints keeping you from taking the time you need to spend with the Lord.

4. Exercise

Physical fitness is something that is very easy to skip out on. The excuse is often that it takes too much time, but even church leaders with busy schedules could find the time when it is prioritized. There are many great 20-30 minute workouts you can do at home or at the gym to get your body moving and blood pumping. This is not only good for your body physically, but it typically gives you more energy and can boost your mood.

5. Read

Pick up a book that you’ve always wanted to read and go to your favorite reading spot, whether that is a place in your home or at a local nearby shop. If you don’t have a book you are interested in, take a look at this reading list we've created for church leaders during their time off. 

6. Listen to a podcast 

There are some awesome church leadership podcasts out there that can help you learn how to face some of your toughest challenges. Our Vanderbloemen Leadership Podcast hosts leaders from across the country speaking on how to push through some of the toughest seasons we face as a church. Our friend Thom Rainer also has an insightful podcast. These are great to listen to while doing things around the house, at the gym, or on your commute to work.

7. Dream

Take time to dream about your hopes for the next year. What is a sermon series that you’ve always wanted to teach? Brainstorm through that thought. Where are you hoping your family will be 4 years from now?  Thinking about the future and what you are hoping it might look like one day is such a great way to cast vision for your team.

8. Purge

Get rid of that shirt that you haven’t worn in a few years. Throw away that mail that has just been sitting on your desk for weeks. Throwing stuff out that is not necessary to keep can be mentally freeing (and also makes a lot of nice extra space).

9. Spend quality time in community

Don’t forget to spend time with your friends. It can be so rejuvenating to catch up with friends, new and old. Go get coffee, eat dinner, or even ask if they want to run some errands together. Friendship is such a gift; make sure you are intentional with those who give you life.

10. Take a day trip to an area near you

Become a tourist in your own town by exploring your city and the area around it. Look and see if there is a festival happening nearby and take your friends and family and spend the day there. Find more reasons as to why you love the community you are apart of.

Of course, some of these ideas will appeal to you more than others. Explore what sounds relaxing and interesting to you, and come back to the week restored and ready for the week ahead.

What are some activities that you do to spend your time off?