Voice: Pastor Just Wants Nothing But Vacations

A picture shows a young man lying on the grass.
A picture shows a young man lying on the grass. (photo: unsplash.com)
By Li ShiguangSeptember 20th, 2022

"As a pastor, what I need are the understanding from believers and some rest. Comforting and helping others, we are also human in need of support.”

Many churches highlight the Great Commission, the nourishing of believers, and services in the community, which are without a doubt very important. But meanwhile few people pay attention to the needs of pastors. While what pastors really need may be further study, contributions, or prayer support, an experienced pastor claimed that they only want a vacation from the busy work. 

Recently, the Christian Times, an online Christian newspaper in China, interviewed Pastor G (pseudonym) who leads two churches with rich pastoral experience. With a disability in his 40s, G was issued a “Disability Certificate” by the authorities. His answers are written down in the first person as follows. 

The best thing for me is being entitled to one day off a week. I schedule Monday off, but who replaces me to do so many things? At any time, someone may come to me with difficulties, such as a problem that needs to be fixed or a bad thing that has happened to them.

Not only I, but many other pastors don’t have a chance to rest, as well as retreats. Some foreign pastors have a sabbatical year every seven years, but this is completely absent in China.

So, I don't know about other pastors, but for me, I think what a pastor needs most is rest, as well as understanding from church members, not too much, just a little.

Christians are used to getting pastoral care from pastors without gratitude, as they think it is the pastor’s duty to help them. I think they have the wrong attitude, though it is right for pastors to pray and help them.

I just want to say that a pastor should nourish believers, but I am a disabled person who also has many inconveniences and difficulties that other healthy people can’t imagine.

Once, a female believer asked me, "Pastor G, as you are working so hard, what do you need us to do for you?" I replied, "That's great, but you just have to stand in my position. If you're willing to pray for me, that's even better."

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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