Do you feel the Monday blues because you’re heading back to work?
Pastors feel the Monday blues because they did work. And it did not work so well, or so they think. Pastors are the worst Monday morning quarterbacks. “The Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon, arguably the greatest preacher of the past 300 years, once said:
“It is a long time since I preached a sermon that I was satisfied with. I scarcely recollect ever having done so.”
Pastors are just human, marred by sin and saved by grace. It is easy for a Pastor to sit on the pity pot of discouragement, thinking that Balaam’s donkey spoke more eloquently than he did Sunday.
Pastors feel like Sunday comes every three days. Sometime, listen for the starter pistol at church. It goes off right after the closing prayer of the last service. Boom, and race the race to next Sunday starts.
Hey, no pressure. All the Pastor must be ready for; explain what God said, explain what God meant, get it 100% right a 100% of the time, and oh yeah, make sure he does it in an extraordinary manner to the same group of people who hear him every week. The crazy part is that some Pastors do it two, three, four, five, even six times on a weekend.
A Pastor faces three battle fronts when he preaches, a physical battle, a spiritual battle, and an emotional battle.
The Physical battle is clear from studies that have shown one hour of preaching is the equivalent of 8 hours of manual labor on the body. The body turns up the stress hormone cortisol and the neurotransmitter dopamine. The adrenal glands, go into high gear producing other hormones that are responsible for metabolism, mood, heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, immune, and digestive system. It is a biological hurricane.
The Spiritual battle is a clear and present danger. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:12,
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
A Pastor knows there is an enemy who hates him, who hates what he is doing, and hates what he speaks from the pulpit. The body count is very high of Pastors and their families who have been taken out by this cosmic spiritual battle.
Finally, the Emotional battle. There are five common emotions that your Pastor may feel on a Monday:
Like a VCR stuck on play, the sermon continually replays in his mind. He quickly develops a bad case of the shoulda, coulda, wouldas. He feels like he should write an apology note to each church attendee that had to listen to that sermon.
Nobody is harder on him than himself. He hears people say “ You want to listen to great sermons every week you really should subscribe to Pastor Rock Star Podcasts, the best preacher I have ever heard.”
What was the congregation thinking as they looked so angry? Was it just bad Mexican food the night before or are they mad at him? And why did he not see the Johnson family? Oh, no.
Someone pulled the plug of his emotional, physical, and mental tub and everything has latterly drained out of him. He is just flat; call it pancake Monday’s.
Maybe it is time to move onto another church. Green grass is everywhere but here. He scans www.pastorjobs.com thinking a change will fix everything. A fresh group of sermon catchers will allow him to reinvent himself.
In Part Two, I will suggest ways that you can pray specifically for your Pastor on a Monday.
Until then the next move is yours.