Sermon Illustrations

The first year I was a pastor, I didn’t take any vacation. Early in my second year, I heard a story about two lumberjacks. One lumberjack worked so hard that he refused to take any breaks—even to sharpen his chainsaw. The other lumberjack took fairly frequent breaks, and he spent a lot of time filing his chain. At the end of the day, the second lumberjack cut a lot more wood than the first one. Working hard is good. Working smart is better. I’m sure you get my point, so here’s a question: "How sharp is YOUR saw?"

During my third year as a pastor, my wife and I went to Alaska for two weeks. It was great to take a vacation. It wasn’t so great to return. The first Sunday I was back, a member of the church told me: “Welcome back. Don’t you ever take a two-week vacation again!” She was dead serious.

Some people honestly believe that pastors only work one day a week. They don’t understand why we need to take vacations. (Such people are, in fact, one big reason why pastors need to take vacations!) I don’t have to make my critics understand my situation; I just need to take my vacations! It’s common sense.

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