I know a lot of pastors who take Monday as their "off day" for the week. I kinda get it. Sunday is exhausting. You spent your day from early til late serving, preaching, teaching, meeting. You're physically and emotionally spent. Not everyone likes taking Monday off though. One of my seminary mentors took his off day later in the week because, in his words, "why should I be miserable on my time?"
Monday for a pastor is a fresh start. I like looking at Monday as the beginning of a new work, which will culminate in our worship gathering on Sunday. So when we're thinking of how we can faithfully pastor on a Monday, let me encourage you on a few aspects.
1. Know Yourself, and Plan Accordingly - Some pastors are natural extroverts, others natural introverts. You have to know how you're wired, and plan your Monday accordingly. If you're an extrovert, don't turn Monday into an administrative day. Be around people. Take a lunch appointment. Schedule meetings for 9am Monday morning. If you're introverted, you may need Monday as a recovery day. You're peopled out. So do the mindless things that require your attention in a week. Write letters. Follow up with emails. Map out your week.
2. Start thinking about Sunday - I know it's crazy to think about, but it won't be long before Sunday shows back up. Inevitably, Sunday comes around every 168 hours. So take some time on Monday and start thinking about Sunday. I wrote all about this in a book FAQ, which you can grab on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. The whole point of the book is to give you practical steps through asking six questions to get ready for each Sunday that comes around. What I do on Monday is send the following Sunday's outline and info for the AVL team for our Sunday presentation and to our assistant for the bulletin and publication.
3. Write thank you notes - Seriously guys, handwritten thank you notes will change so much in your life. I swear by them. I started writing them about a year and some change ago and it has given me such a spirit of gratitude towards the dozens of people every week who make our church thrive. I'll write 2-3 a week and think about who helped make Sunday great. Could be a children's church worker, a greeter who went above and beyond, soloist, or someone who was an encouragement that day. Grab a stack of cards, or make them yourself (easy templates in Word & Pages) and make it a habit.
4. Pray - Was Sunday a dud? Pray. Was Sunday amazing? Pray. Did you feel like your message resonated? Pray. Did you feel like you stumbled through it? Pray. Our response to whatever happened on Sunday, and our foresight into whatever will happen this week needs to be rooted and grounded in prayer. Not just perfunctory prayer, but specific and meaningful prayer. We can't expect a church to thrive if it's not rooted in prayer from its leadership. If we get prayer requests on our contact cards, I'll pray over them on Monday. I'll pray for the guests we had. For the message to bear fruit. For the people I know going through stuff.
5. Relax and Don't Quit - Sometimes I think pastors suffer on Monday because they feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. The good news is that it doesn't. You're not the one responsible for the success or failure of God's work. Your job is to be faithful, work hard, and trust Him. The best news is that God has promised to finish what He started. And that doesn't get derailed just because you forgot to mention the potluck and got cornered about it. Or that you forgot your point in the message. Relax. God has this. And don't quit on Monday. It's going to be ok.
Scott M. Douglas
A blog about leadership and the lasting legacy of family ministry.