I have had the privilege of serving as a pastor and church staff member for the past 5.5 years. The honest truth is that it has been a blast. However, one thing about serving in this capacity is that I dread Mondays. In fact I hate Monday mornings! If you are not a pastor but want a glimpse of what Mondays are like for those of us serving the local church check out Perry Noble’s description here.
By the way, if you are a member of a local church please don’t call and blast your pastor on Monday. Give him a day to come out of the fog so that he can be a little more clear-headed as he addresses complaints or problems. I am thankful to have served at two churches where this has not been a problem but have heard horror stories from some fellow pastors. In fact, step up and commit to pray for your pastor and pastoral staff each Monday as they walk through the fog.
This may sound a bit strange but I have identified some coping mechanisms that help me navigate through Mondays. I’m sure these are not original with me but I thought it would be helpful to compile them here not only to help other pastors but also to remind me as I try to navigate through the fog known as Mondays. Feel free to print this list out and give it to your pastor or send him the link.
6 Practical Steps For Pastors On Mondays
1. Sleep In. I know this may sound counter intuitive in our productivity minded culture but sleeping in on Monday mornings can be a huge help in fighting through the fog. If it is not possible to sleep in on Monday morning at least take a nap on Sunday afternoon. An extra hour or two of sleep can make a world of difference in your day.
2. Draw Close To Jesus Through His Word. The easiest thing to fall through the cracks while navigating through the fog of Mondays is time in God’s Word. I have been there. The spiritual high of singing about and studying God’s Word on Sundays can leave us with the impression that we have a “full tank” on Monday. You and I need the Word daily even when we think we don’t.
3. Get Some Exercise. One of the best things I have done on Mondays is make exercise a priority. This is tough because I usually don’t feel like going for a run on Mondays even though I know it makes a big impact in my day. Studies show that vigorous exercise releases endorphins in our body, which boost our mood and happiness.
4. Read Something For Your Soul. In addition to reading God’s Word on Mondays, I have found it beneficial to read a book for my soul. I need to be reminded of the gospel every day but especially on Mondays. My worth and identity is not wrapped up in who I am as a pastor and what happened at church on Sunday but in who I am in Christ. Find some authors that drive your thoughts to the gospel message and your true identity.
5. Call A Friend/Mentor Who Will Encourage You. I have several friends/mentors in full-time vocational ministry that I often call for encouragement. Fellow pastors know the struggle Mondays can be and I find it extremely helpful to encourage one another to fulfill the ministry to which God has called us. Find a friend/mentor who will encourage you through the fog.
6. Stay Away From Making Big Decisions. A mentor of mine who is a pastor gave me this advice and it has been gold. Never make big decisions when you are tired or in the fog of ministry. Since Mondays are often foggy I stay away from making major decisions. Big decisions can wait until Tuesday morning.