As a rural youth pastor, I enjoy this weekend perhaps more than any other.
The summer, and all the busyness of camps, mission trips, and VBS, is over. Students are back in school, so your routine is returning to normal. Home is a place you get to stay instead of visit.
I like Labor Day weekend because it provides one of few times to unwind with the family while the weather is still pleasant. Memorial Day is packed with pre-youth trip plans. Independence Day falls smack dab in the middle of a busy summer. But Labor Day, for a youth pastor, is a great weekend to reacquaint yourself with the family you’ve missed over the summer.
Often, because of our rural setting, I use Labor Day to take day trips or even a quick visit to see family or friends. Fortunately, my church is usually off on the Sunday night of Labor Day, so it affords me an extra day to get away.
With that said, a day trip is a perfect way to spend quality time with your family and even help with the isolation of ministry. After a long summer, it’s time to reconnect with your spouse and children. They’ve made a lot of sacrifices so you can take the students all over the country (or even internationally). This is a good weekend to give to them before the fall season kicks into high gear.
For me, Labor Day really is a day to rest and reflect. Our new youth promote up to Sunday School. Our previous year’s seniors move on (if they haven’t already left for college) to our adult ministries. It really is a time to catch my breath, relax and get ready for the year ahead.
Often in rural settings, shopping, fine dining and entertainment can be a distance away. So I usually take Labor Day to treat my family to those things. I’m not due at the office and everyone is off anyway. A trip to an amusement park or even a day shopping at the mall in the next town over, is a great way to wind down after a long summer.
So, do yourself a favor. Take this weekend and relax. I promise, your calendar will still be there. Students will still remember your name. That flyer for the winter retreat can be taken care of on Tuesday.
Take a moment, reflect, relax and enjoy Labor Day.
You’ve earned it.