For pastors, Monday is typically considered a bad day. Even though the average non-pastor has a rough time waking up from the weekend and facing the grueling nine-to-five, pastors have it particularly hard. The pastor is drained from his Sunday–that emotionally challenging, frenetically busy, mentally demanding, spiritually draining, 14-hour workday. Now, Monday is here. Here are ten things to do or not to do on Monday.
Ten Things the Pastor Should Do on Monday
- Don’t visit CareerBuilder.com. Monday is the number one day for pastors to quit their job. It’s easy to see why. You may have never had a Monday morning experience with CareerBuilder.com, an Internet job search portal. But you may have thought long and hard about finding your next “calling.” Don’t do it. Instead of running away from your ministry, run to Christ and find your solace and encouragement in Him.
- Don’t schedule that tough counseling meeting. There’s nothing worse than waking up on Monday morning and thinking “Oh no. I have to meet with Jack today!” And, of course, Jack is the one with the toughest problems, the most caustic comments, and a mouthful of criticism regarding you and your preaching. Let’s get this straight. Jack needs help. He needs the Word. He needs prayer. But you will be least prepared to meet with him on Monday. The point is, don’t schedule the hardest and toughest tasks for Monday.
- Take Monday off. The work-six-day principle that God established still holds true for pastors. If you’re a pastor who doesn’t take a day off, things need to change. Perhaps you are a machine that can keep steaming ahead seven days a week, 365 days a year. But maybe your family isn’t. Something or someone is going to burn. Take a day off. Monday is usually the best day to do this.
- Have a meal with a friendly fellow pastor. It helps to commiserate over ministry woes, ministry joys, and ministry burdens. Call up the pastor across town and have a friendly meal. This is not the time for you to set him straight about baptizing babies or switching denominations. This is time for you to share together, pray together, and encourage one another.
- Do some planning. Something about Sunday has a way of whacking things out of perspective. There’s nothing like a good ol’ planning session to get your mission and vision straightened out. Take an hour or two on Monday to plan for the future—the next sermon series, your personal goals for the year, a ministry that you’d like to start, etc. I’ve found that doing some serious planning time is a very encouraging and energizing task.
- Have a family day. Your family needs you just as much as your church does, even more so. Take time with your family, and just have some fun. Go to a park. Have a picnic. See a movie. Play a game. Eat at a restaurant. Go to the mountains. Do something fun. With the kids out of school in summer time, it’s easy to gather up the whole family and head somewhere on a Monday. Besides, all the parks and attractions are a lot less crowded on Monday.
- Sleep in. Feel free to get some extra winks and not feel guilty about it. You may actually be sleep deprived and not realize it. The best antidote for sleep deprivation is to sleep (pretty obvious). Although the ascetic side of you is saying “NO! Defy sleep! Be disciplined!” the truly sensible side of you may be saying, “Yeah, I could really use some sleep right now. Do it. It may very well be the most spiritually productive thing to do.
- Play golf or whatever hobby it is you enjoy. Pastors are allowed to have a hobby—and a life. I’m not suggesting that pastors should spend a lot of money and waste a lot of time on the golf course. I’m simply suggesting that it’s not wrong for pastors to have some time of enjoyment and fun. In fact, I would suggest that it is wrong if pastor’s don’t have any enjoyment or fun. It’s Monday. It’s time to do something enjoyable.
- Read a good book. A common lament I hear from men in the ministry is that they don’t have enough time to read. There are so many books and so little time. Welcome to Monday, your new secret weapon for reading more. Rather than do some exegetical heavy-lifting on Monday, do some enjoyable reading. Pick up that encouraging ministry book that you’ve been wanting to read for a long time, and start reading.
- Have an extended time in the Word and prayer. When doing research for a recent article, I came across some troubling statistics. Very few pastors, some numbers were as low as 5-10%, do not have a personal time of prayer and Bible study apart from their sermon prep time. My point here is not to berate you for not having your devotions, and burden you with a duty that’s not commanded in Scripture. Instead, I’d like to point out the joy and fellowship that you can have by engaging in an extended and leisurely time of Bible study, separate from your sermon preparation time.