52 SUNDAYS: What About Vacations?

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This year we're challenging our members and regular attenders to attend a church service every week in 2014. You can read more about the 52 SUNDAYS challenge here. This article is part of a series of articles about 52 SUNDAYS.

What about vacations?

Attending church while on vacation can feel counterproductive. I get it.

You're finally away from it all...you're sleeping in, having fun, making memories, going with the flow. Just the idea of having something on your calendar might ruin the party.

Or perhaps you're more of an adventurer. You like the open road, or a trail into the wilderness, a remote location, surfing Baja, and lots and lots of activity. You like to do things that lead you away from the city. Attending church would be an inconvenience.

What delights you?

First we need to decide if spending Sundays with the church is more duty or delight. If duty, then going to church on vacation feels burdensome. If delight, then going to church on vacation is part of your vacation.

I know it's not a one-to-one correlation...sometimes visiting a church feels exhausting and that's not what you're looking for. But as a professor of mine once commented "What are you saying when you intentionally avoid church to rest?"

Public worship is a time to be delighted. We hear the gospel sung, celebrated, and preached. It has a wonderfully rejuvenating effect upon our souls. You could even say "Sundays are vacation."

Plan your vacation.

I'd recommend you try visiting a church while traveling this year. Use your Sunday morning away to accomplish the very things you left town to accomplish in the first place.

  1. Use lists like 9marks, The Gospel Coalition, and Sovereign Grace to select a church.
  2. Balance out your time with sufficient sleep, alone time, and activities to ensure you have Sunday free.
  3. Prepare yourself (and those you're with) to be blessed and to be a blessing. Go with the intention of encouraging others. Pick one or two people, learn their story, and thank them for being the church in places like this.
  4. If possible, try visiting the same church every time you vacation. Build a relationship with your home away from home. You never know...you might even find new friends!