MONDAY MORNING IN PASTOR LAND

by | Jul 7, 2022 | Burnout, discouragement, Exhaustion, Leadership, Ministry Leader, Pastor, Quitting | 2 comments

Monday morning . . .

The sworn enemy of pastors. It’s said that many pastors quit every Monday morning, only to re-up sometime later in the week.

On Monday morning, Sunday gets replayed in our head. The good and the not-so-good. “Thank you, Lord for Your felt presence. For those people who said yes to following You. For how well our teams served.” These positive thoughts are countered by: “Why didn’t so-and-so show up? Is the Sunday experience missing something that leaves them half-hearted in their commitment? Am I failing? Do I want to do this anymore? Jesus take the wheel!”

Welcome to Monday morning in Pastor Land.

Can I confess to you—without losing your respect—that when I accepted a part-time role giving oversight to the launch of a new church plant six years ago, similar thoughts tried to impose their will on me almost every Sunday night and Monday morning? There were a few weeks where battling with negative thoughts was imperceptible, but many weeks where it was intense. This phenomenon happened for the one-year duration of that assignment. Other pastors tell me a similar story.

The question is: What can we do about the Monday morning blahs? Here are three realities we need to face that can help us better navigate Mondays in Pastor Land:

Reality 1: Direction

Specifically, where I direct my attention and thoughts. Focusing on Sunday’s wins first and foremost can improve a pastor’s Monday morning. Think about and celebrate what went right. Of course, we need to address issues, but focusing on wins first helps us counteract the drift toward Monday morning negativity.

Direction has to do also with remembering what we can and can’t do. Pastors can plant and water—and we should plant and water diligently and with excellence—but it’s God who brings the growth. We can’t control who shows up on Sunday, but we have a lot of control over the quality of the Sunday experience. We can’t force people to grow up, but we can create favorable conditions for growth to occur. Focusing on what went wrong and what we can’t control leads to a tough Monday morning in Pastor Land.

Reality 2: Depletion

Pastors expend a ton of energy on Sunday, So, when the negative thoughts attack on Monday, we don’t always have enough emotional energy to process those thoughts correctly. When we’re tired, it’s easier for negativity to rule. (And if you’re a Detroit Lions football fan, Sundays during the fall can deplete you even more).

Taking a long walk on Sunday afternoons often proved therapeutic for me and Laura during our lead pastor and campus pastor years. Watching a clean funny movie and belly-laughing refueled the emotional tank.

Exercise and laughter re-energize us, help us clear our thoughts, and generally improve our perspective. Exercise and laughter can help cure what ails us on Monday morning in Pastor Land.

Reality 3: Devil

Let’s face it . . . the devil wants pastors to quit. He is public enemy #1. He highlights the negative, always. He never points out the positive. His mission is to destroy a pastors’ confidence, faith, vision, and sense of calling. He lies repeatedly to pastors, telling them they’re not capable enough, gifted enough, energetic enough, funny enough, etc.

Pastors need to fight back. When Jesus was attacked by Satan, He responded by reminding him what was written in the Scriptures. He fought back with the truth. He wouldn’t allow Satan to take His mind where it shouldn’t go. If fighting back seems too hard, call in reinforcements. Reach out to friends and intercessors. Ask them to pray for you. Remember you are loved by God. Called by God. Sent by God. Don’t let the devil mess with your head on Monday.

Mondays in Pastor Land don’t have to drown us:

  • Let’s focus on what’s good first.
  • Let’s take time to replenish our depleted emotions/energy through exercise, laughter, and friendship.
  • Let’s resist the devil’s attempts to drown us in the cesspool of doubt and despair.

If you need a safe person to talk to, our team is here for you. Reach out to us here and let’s start a conversation.

I’m rooting and praying for you!

John

2 Comments

  1. Renee Shaull

    Excellent!!! Thanks so much for sharing. It really hit the spot and gave great ways to thwart the Monday morning regrets!!! love it

    Reply
  2. Tony Myers

    Great insights. I’ve never struggled much with Monday mornings, but I have many friends in ministry that find Mondays miserable. Thanks for some great and simple actions steps.

    Reply

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