Let’s be honest. Mondays are tough for pastors. The previous day was spent ministering to the sheep, preaching the Word and engaging in an unseen – sometimes tangibly experienced – spiritual warfare. Pastors greet the Monday morning alarm with groans and an intense desire to not want to leave the bed.
The reasons for this are legion. Perhaps you were stung by criticism. Whether it was valid or not, it still hurt. Maybe you preached your heart out, and saw no tangible results. You dread walking into the office. You know fresh fires need to be put out, old fires are smoldering and the time is burning fast – because Sunday is coming.
What is a pastor to do with these Monday blues? Some pastors take a day off. That is not a bad idea, but I also know pastors who do not want to spend their day off feeling that way. Therefore, in the absence of time off, here are three practical suggestions for overcoming the Monday Blues.
1. Pour yourself wholeheartedly into your devotional time.
Now I know what you are thinking. Way to be super spiritual: Play the “quiet time” card. That is not my intention, but that is the best place to start. Most of the haze pastors live in on Mondays is a hangover of unmet or unrealized expectations from the week/day before. In truth, we struggle because we find our identity and worth in all manner of misguided places. This compels us to start Monday by jumping back into whatever seems most pressing. The fact is that the best place to turn to is the one who should be the seat and origin of our identity: The Lord!
With that in mind, I suggest that the first thing you should do on a Monday morning is to spend extra time in prayer and the Word. Find a section of Scripture unrelated to what you are currently preaching and plant yourself there. Extend your usual quiet time by 15 minutes. Soak in the Word and spend time praying. If you do not know what to pray, open up the Psalms and speak God’s Word back to him in prayer.
2. Make a list of your blessings.
Next, I would encourage you to make a list of your blessings. No matter how bleak your current situation is, you can always see God’s blessings. David found spiritual fortification even in waking up. Psalm 3:5 – “I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the Lord sustains me.” Think about your family, your health and the grace extended to you as a broken sinner. Once you have made that list, pour your heart out in gratitude to the Lord.
3. Communicate with an encouraging friend.
This morning as I was sketching out a rough outline for this article, I received a text from one of the most consistent encouragers in my life. While we do not talk daily, the Lord uses him in my life by strategically prompting him to check in, give an encouraging thought or say something that makes me laugh.
Something as simple as a few keystrokes or a phone conversation can put things in their proper perspective. Encouragement can be contagious. Once you catch it, you should spread it to others who might also be in the Monday morning fog.
Yes, pastor, Mondays are tough. Sunday is coming. But that also means Monday will soon be in your rearview. I am praying for you.
Published July 26, 2023