The Preaching Hangover | Escaping the Monday Morning Funk

Monday mornings are tough for pastors and other ministry leaders. In the past some preacher’s have called it their “preaching hangover,” Spurgeon addressed it in the “Minister’s Fainting Fits.” It’s amazing how exhausting preaching can be. There’s not really a comparison; teaching or lecturing, while tiring, do not compare.

 “If any man will preach as he should preach, his work will take more out of him than any other labor under heaven.”  ~ Charles Spurgeon

I remember hearing someone compare every hour of preaching to 4-6 working hours due to the high demand and stress emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Even though, relatively speaking, I’m still the “new kid” to this gig, here are some things I’ve found helpful in shaking the Monday Morning Funk or your “preaching hangover.”

1. Realize it is ok to be a little down. 
It’s natural; it’s physiological; it’s human. Our minds and souls are housed in a body. There’s no drug like adrenaline. After the exertion of teaching/preaching/leading worship on Sunday, it is only natural that our bodies go through a “low point” chemically. Our adrenal glands can only take so much before it does an automatic reboot. It’s a natural part of our chemical makeup. Psychologically it’s called PAD (Post Adrenalin Depression).

Our creative God designed us with a variety of emotions with lessons about Him and ourselves to be learned in each one. Think of the breadth of emotions David expresses in the Psalms and the truths about God that he meditates on in each stage. Check out Dr.Ron Horton’s, Mood Tides for further reading about this.

2. Exercise physically. 

This is healthy, and most likely necessary after a weekend that probably included a lot of study and many meetings. Perhaps, however, the most important function of exercise on a Monday is the endorphins released through physical exercise that help to balance out the low. The endorphins released from the pituitary gland function as the neurotransmitters that can get us back to the “feel good” state.
God designed our minds and souls to be housed in a body. Those bodies were designed to move, not sit around a desk for 50-60 hours a week.

3. Read

There is a misconceived word picture that ministry is like a sponge where you load up your sponge and then wring it out on others. I even recall hearing the statement, “my sponge is full and I want to serve here in my local church.” A more suitable picture is that of a channel. Think of the hymn “Channels Only” –water only flows through the channel so long as the channel is connected to the source. Warren Wiersbe described it like this:

“Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human need through loving channel’s to the Glory of God.”

The day after one has spent himself in ministry I believe it is important to stay close to the fountain so to speak. I’ve found it helpful to read as much as possible to “fill the tank” so to speak (and misplace modifiers too:-).  Since Monday is a few days away from the next speaking deadline, it offers a time to read in other subjects and topics.
4. Listen to Music.

Music is a language of the emotions. I find it helpful to just have music playing, especially on Mondays. It’s a passive way to have one’s emotions stirred.

5. Just Do Something. 

Maybe a little too much Appalachian common sense here, but sometimes we just need to “get things done.” Down times like Mondays are a great time to knock off routine tasks that don’t demand much brain power or decision making. Personally Jamie and I use Nozbe as a task management solution with a family plan so we can “assign” tasks to each other (yes, guys this is scary), place them in projects and contexts and even assign time for completion. I like Nozbe basically because it follows the “Getting Things Done” method and seems to work the way we think.

6. Eat Good Food.

It’s amazing what a nice meal can do to your emotions. There’s no telling how many relationships a good steak has restored. The positive chemical response from the pleasure of food as well as the social interaction surrounding a meal can do the world of good to our emotions on a down day.

7.Get a Life (loosen up)!
It’s important to have a diversion from “routine” and engage in something you like to do for recreation. I would point out the difference and benefit of “recreation” verses “amusement” at this point. Recreational activities do just what the etymology suggests–they “re-create” the creative and mental faculties that you need to get back to your normal productivity level. Amusement, on the other hand, well, “A-muse” = without thinking, brain-dead things that leave you where they found you–typically in a brain-dead state on the couch.

Whether it’s a hobby, home improvement project, a creative outlet like a musical instrument, or some other artistic outlet, it is important to have something outside of your primary role. These may vary depending on ability, discretionary budget, and life stage.
What do you do to lose the Monday Morning Funk? 

Weekend Getaway to Cleveland

Weekend Getaway to Cleveland
The last several months of ministry have been pretty busy. Due to some ministry staffing issues, we ended up having to cancel any family vacations or getaways this summer. The kids were pretty bummed that we needed to cancel going to family camp, but we were able to squeeze in a day trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo before they had to be back in school.
Thankfully I have two awesome deacons that recognized that it’s not good for a pastor to go so long without a day off, much less a family getaway. So, with their urging and blessing we scheduled a friend in ministry to fill the pulpit so we could be reminded of what that thing that normal people have called a weekend :-).

We toured the beutifully revitalized downtown, got some awesome food, and finished the weekend worshiping at Parkside Church where we heard Allisair Begg speak.

My Top 5 Bible Apps

My Top 5 Bible Apps


Originally Posted on 06/17/2013

I mentioned in a previous post that I like folks having a Bible on their wireless device. If you’re looking for one and would like a recommendation here are my top 5 recommendations. For what it’s worth this is an extremely subjective non-scientific list that’s just my opinion – which isn’t worth much.

  1. You Version:

    This is my favorite Bible app due to many factors. There’s a reason it’s the #1 Bible App out there. It is easy to use, has multiple translations. It’s great to be able to download some for offline use. Personally I love having the audio bible component, it helps me stay attention and focus particularly when I’m tired. The interactivity and reading plans are probably the biggest draws to this app. The reading plans and reminder email are basically my Bible reading accountability partner.

    Summary: This is my “go to” app for personal Bible reading.


  2. Logos App:bible-app-ipad-36-highlights-214x300

    The Logos app is pretty good. The biggest value is having my library available on a mobile. We use Proclaim Worship Software at Gospel Life so having the ability to follow along with services is a plus.

    Summary: If you are a Logos user this is a good app to have. Unless you use Logos or go to a church uses Proclaim, stick with #1.

    Download: Apple | Android | Amazon

  3. Faithlife Study Bible App

    Another Logos Software product, I’ve come to enjoy it ease of use. It also allows users to follow along with Proclaim presentations. I’m not really sure what the point of a separate app is from the Logos App, but the study Bible notes are pretty good and I’ve found them useful.

    Summary: Basically if you don’t have Logos and attend a church that uses Proclaim this is a good “in church” app.

    Download: Apple | Android | Amazon

  4. Blue Letter Bible

    Blue Letter Bible is a great website and app for Bible study and reading. It is especially helpful if you don’t have a Bible study software or tools at home. You can do word studies and many other study features.

    Summary: If you don’t have many study helps (concordances, dictionaries, etc.) this is a great tool.

    Download: Apple | Android (not available)| Amazon (not available)

  5. Kindle Reader

    Yes, you read that right. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to reinvent the wheel. Just get a free edition of the Bible and keep in your Kindle app as one of your favorites. The app is designed for a pleasant reading experience, so why not have that with your Bible reading too, especially if you are already used to the kindle reading experience?

    Summary: There’s no replacement for just reading the Bible. If you don’t have another Bible app or if you use the older kindle, get a free Bible and read it.

    Download: Apple | Android | Amazon

The scriptures are alive and effective; it is not bound by medium or device. There’s no secret solution or magic app. You may even use the native reading application on your device. Find what works for you, just do whatever it takes to be spending time in the scriptures. May the Word of Christ increase in your life.



What’s your favorite Bible app? Why does that work best for you?

Birthday Thoughts

I wanted to share a public “Thank You” for all the birthday greetings and wishes. It truly is humbling and encouraging to have so many friends take the time to encourage others the way you did me. Evernote Camera Roll 20150916 220631
Several years ago a friend in ministry said that young guys in ministry shouldn’t share their opinions until they are 35. I guess I have the green light for that now:-).

Tis grace has brought me safe thus far, 

And grace will lead me home.

– John Newton