Psalm 42:4 –Psalm 42:5 (NLTSE) My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be: I walked among the crowds of worshipers, leading a great procession to the house of God, singing for joy and giving thanks amid the sound of a great celebration! Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?
Monday mornings can be brutal for pastors:
- You’re exhausted after speaking on the weekend
- You have to start from scratch on a message for next weekend
- You have to deal with all the issues that came up on Sunday (“You’re a fine youth pastor, but did you seriously think indoor paintball was a good idea?”)
- You read the nasty notes dropped in the offering (“If you don’t turn down the volume next week we are finding another church.” Signed, Your Mother)
So here are five ways to deal with Monday mornings:
- Don’t go into the office
You’re staff (no matter how small) does not want to deal with you on Monday morning. They have plenty to do following up on the weekend, and you are not in any shape to handle issues in a positive way. Don’t take the day off (save your day off for a time when you can enjoy it), but don’t inflict your staff with you on Monday morning.
- Focus on renewing your mind and your spirit
The weekend has been about ministering to other people. Your ministry tank is empty, you need to fill it back up. Spend some significant time with God. Read a great book, or do whatever renews your mind. You can’t effectively lead your church this week until you are renewed and refreshed.
- Write an really, really rough draft of your next sermon (Anne Lamott has a name for this, but I can’t use it here)
After you have refilled your tank, spend an hour or two banging out some idea of where you think your sermon will go next Sunday. Don’t worry about form or theology at this point; you’ll straighten all of that out later in the week. On Monday morning you’re just looking for a really rough template. If you get this hammered out before noon it will take some of the stress off the rest of the day, and it will tune your radar to look for insight and material that will help build the sermon as you go through your week.
- Have lunch with an encouraging friend
Try to have lunch on Monday with someone who breathes life into you. This is a great time to meet with another pastor. You can share battle stories and realize that you’re not the only one fighting through the Monday funk.
- Face the rest of the week knowing that you are on a mission from God
It is easy to get lost in the details of leading a church, but don’t ever forget that your commission is from the almighty God. You are on a quest to expand God’s Kingdom on earth and the gates of hell can’t stand against the weapons you wield. You are God’s anointed and Satan cannot win.
Once you make it through Monday morning the rest of the week is a breeze. At least until Wednesday.