So I just went to Hawaii on my honeymoon. Let’s just say it was incredible and I do not want to make you jealous, but 10 days in Kauai and Maui is the way to go. What I do hope what happens is that you get the itch to get away for a bit. Since I got to Saddleback, I have had time off, but this was my first “real long” time off that I have had and it was incredible. I literally turned off my phone (when was the last time you have done that for an extended period of time?), had no agenda, read a ton, got away and didn’t think about work.
Here is what I learned about my time away and why it was so important for me:
You get to refuel: I have never felt more energized as I do right now. Spending time, uninterrupted with my wife is such a blessing. I turned off my email. I didn’t go on Facebook, I only used my phone as a map. I got to sit, relax, and read a ton of books. I got to have some great fun, some things that I love to do….like eat, hike, and go on some adventures (kayaking, zip-lining, etc.) It’s amazing how much your realize how draining having constant emails, texts, voice mails, and meetings can be and to be able to turn it completely off is amazing. If you have trouble doing this while you are not in your office, you might need to have a vacation more than ever then because that is a problem. Get away, refuel.
You have to plan ahead: I was going to be gone for 12 days so that means I needed to make sure all of my duties were going to be taken care of. It caused me to look ahead 2 weeks and get my mind around what is going to need to happen while I’m gone. To be very clear in my direction and vision for the weekends so when we had our meeting the week before I left, I came in with guns blazing with ideas and our weekend team drew out the weekends on the whiteboards in detail. This got us 2 weeks ahead, which we have not been, and it allows us room to work from this point on. Hopefully we can keep up this momentum. It set us up to stay ahead in our weekend planning of services.
It allows others to step up: It is my responsibility that our weekends, all of the moving parts, come together to make one awesome service. Since I was going to be gone, it allowed other members of the weekend team to step up and take charge and lead these weekends. And honestly, they killed it. I came back just for the last weekend in our series and was blown away by what our team did. It was way better than what we originally planned in the first place and the series was probably one of my favorites and best ones we have done yet… and I wasn’t even there to over see it! The team stepped up in huge ways and now it has revealed to me what our team can do and I am excited to see what can come out of this for the future. Sometimes you have to get away and get out-of-the-way to allow the people around you to step up and dominate and see what they can do.
So… get away. For you, for your team, for your ministry. It’s healthy on all accounts!