One of my favorite movies is Office Space, and in the movie the main character has a really rough start to his week (TPS reports, 8 bosses, traffic, and getting static shocked by the door). He has a "case of the Mondays."
If you've seen the movie, you have that line stuck in your head now. You're welcome.
Pastors aren't immune to a case of the Mondays. We're coming off a very emotional day on Sunday with worship, preaching, meetings, spiritual crises, and more. We've poured everything we had into our message and are on empty afterward. To flip the calendar to a Monday and have to restart everything might sound discouraging and daunting.
Some pastors respond to this by taking Monday off. They're so emotionally drained after Sunday they need a day before they can bounce back. They'll do yard work, projects around the house, and step away from the meat grinder of ministry for a day. It's their Sabbath. If that's you, go for it. Some guys are able to do that and function and process and be ready to roll on Tuesday morning.
Everyone has a different way of handling their Mondays. Some people knock out meetings on Monday. Others do all their administrative work and are "peopled out" for a day. It's part of how God has uniquely wired each of us.
If I can offer a few suggestions for kicking your case of the Mondays:
1. Write thank you notes - One of the things I've been most blessed by lately is writing thank you notes on Mondays to people who made Sunday awesome. It's helped me be more grateful and appreciative of all that goes in to make Sunday happen. This week it was for people in our children's ministry who jumped in as volunteers to cover for stomach bugs!
2. Follow up with guests - Quick phone calls, emails, texts, and social media contacts are some easy ways to connect with people who visited on Sunday. For me it's a source of joy to talk to people who made it a priority to visit us. I love hearing their story, asking who made their visit special, and what we can do to minister to them. Sometimes Monday is a pastor's worst enemy, when we don't feel like we got anything accomplished on Sunday. But hearing from guests is a quick remedy.
3. Map out the week - I love iCal because it lets me schedule things in blocks and shape out the week, color coded by function. Monday is the time to lay out doctor's appointments, sermon prep time, meetings, ministry commitments, personal activities, and more. And what I love about block scheduling is that if emergencies arise, all I have to do is move the block.
4. Do mindless work - Type out agendas, answer emails, tidy up your office, update spreadsheets, look at attendance numbers, and make Powerpoints. None of those take critical thinking energy, and you can knock out a lot from a weekly to-do list in one day.
Whatever and however you do your Monday, do what you need to so your week can thrive and be most faithful and effective in ministry.
How do you kick your case of the Mondays?
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.