Southwest Airlines used to have a great ad campaign entitled, “Wanna Get Away?” Because, let’s face it, there are times where you just need to get away.
I’ve found that ministry is like that as well. But instead of looking to get away as an escape, I believe it’s important for leaders to intentionally get away on a regular basis. By “get away” I mean really away: to a different location entirely, for at least two overnights, and where you are focusing on something other than the ministry demands that will still be there when you return. And by “regular basis” I mean at least twice a year, but ideally once per quarter.
Your getaway can take various forms: a conference, vacation, a visit to long-distance friends, even ministry-related travel such as a mission trip. Again, the point is to immerse yourself in a different environment where you must engage with something other than the work you left behind. Sometimes the travel itself is the getaway, the road or plane trip as significant as the activity at the destination.
Getting away brings perspective. You see that the world is so much bigger than your little corner of concern. You find solutions to problems that felt too big or too close to evaluate when you were back home. You interact with people outside your normal social circle and discover that there are others like you. You lift your eyes from the work at hand long enough to see the horizon, to imagine other possibilities, to gain clarity about what lies ahead. You remember that you had forgotten God, that He has been beside you all along, and that there is nothing more important than resting in His presence. You come home tired yet rested, refreshed and ready to get back to work.
When was the last time you got away?