It can be the toughest day of the week for pastors.
They have preached with passion and conviction. They have prayed for lives to be impacted. They have worked 15 hours on Sunday.
Some have taken the barbs from critics. Others have self-doubt about their sermons.
Some are considering quitting.
I know. I “resigned” about 25 times in the last church I served as pastor.
May I offer some suggestions for dealing with the Monday blues? This counsel is actually the aggregation of conversations I’ve had with pastors much wiser than I.
Here are seven of those suggestions:
1. Pray. Take an hour to have a conversation with God. Get away from the office and go to a quiet place. Focus on those areas where you can praise and thank God.
2. Remember that you are involved in spiritual warfare. Some of the blues might come from the Enemy. Fight the adversary with the Word of God and with prayer.
3. Don’t get obsessed with one week of numbers. Budgets and attendance can have wild fluctuations. Don’t base your worth on nickels and noses. Use numbers in a godly strategic way, but don’t let them control you week by week.
4. Pray for those who have been negative to you. Christ did indeed tell us to love our enemies (Matthew 5:42-44). While it might be an overstatement to call a critical church member an enemy, we can still love and pray for those who have been negative to us.
5. Stay healthy. Our physical condition affects our emotions. Eat well. Exercise regularly. Treat your body as the gift from God that it truly is.
6. Understand the slow nature of leading change in an established church. Major changes rarely happen in a short period. There will always be resistance to some change. Don’t get caught up in the weekly ebbs and flows. Keep a long-term perspective.
7. Find ways to celebrate and to express your love to the congregation. Write some notes of gratitude. Instead of sulking in the Monday morning doldrums, find ways to express thanksgiving to others. Here is a blog post by Sam Rainer where he expressed his love to his church. It was posted on a Monday.
Serving as pastor can be an incredibly difficult job. Indeed, the only way one can thrive as a pastor is to have a secure call to the vocation.
But having a call does not mean you won’t experience tough days. And many of those tough days are Mondays.
By the way, I often pray for the readers of my blog and for the listeners of my podcast. I am becoming especially mindful to pray for you on Monday.
Let me hear from you.
This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on September 12, 2016. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and nine grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer.