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.
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?