I am on vacation this week.
That may sound easy, but the trouble is vacation is never quite as easy when you’re a pastor. Mostly because there’s this one day of the week that really requires you to actually be there for everything to “work.”
Sundays are never easy for pastors to take off. Just like many people, we worry that our team won’t do the job as well as we will. We worry that they’ll miss the big picture–or maybe the small details. We worry that the worship won’t be as good or that the substitute preacher you’ve placed in your pulpit will blow their opportunity to share the message.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the pastor of a large church or a small church. It doesn’t matter if you’re a lead pastor or a children’s pastor. When vacations coincide with Sunday, there isn’t a single one of us that doesn’t think–if we are truly honest with ourselves–that it probably won’t be as good this week.
I proclaimed a week ago, the day before I went on vacation, that the next Sunday would be Otter Pop Sunday. I told the kids I would be gone, but every kid who came to church the next weekend would get one of those delightful frozen treats. My team looked at me with amused worry when I made the announcement.
But here’s where you know if you’re successful as a leader or a pastor. If you have entrusted the people you lead not just with the job, but with the vision, they’ll figure out how to not only get the tasks done, but to understand the why behind the task.
Otter Pops are not very good until they are left alone, in the freezer, to do the very thing that makes them so good: freeze. Your team that you lead won’t be very good until you leave them alone, in the busyness of ministry, to do the very thing you have trusted them to do: minister.
I’m proud to say that the gave out over 500 Otter Pops to elementary aged kids at two campuses across three services. I’m proud to say that my team did a great job this weekend and we had record numbers of kids on a weekend when I was out of town. But I’m most proud to say that when they saw problems, they fixed them, and when left to do what they were trusted to do, they did it well.
Otter Pop Sunday may just become a regular thing when I go on vacation. Who knew something so simple could be so important?