Ryan is the Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Hickory, NC. He is the host of the "In The Room" podcast, and the author of 8 Hours, Or Less: Writing Faithful Sermons Faster.  

Learning To Love Monday

Most people hate Mondays. 

Pastors and ministry leaders in particular, experience a unique let down on this “day after THE day." We pour blood, sweat, and prayers into our Sunday worship services and wake up Monday with little in the tank. It’s so bad, in fact, that Barna reports 15% of pastors contemplate leaving ministry every Monday morning.  

I’m certainly not impervious to it. I’ve woken up wanting a different job on more than a few Mondays.

But...

I think two of the reasons we hate Mondays so much are that we know we’re supposed to (pastors love to commiserate about how hard Mondays are) and because we’re not intentional about how we spend this critical first day of the week. Personally, I’m tired of hating Monday, so I’m currently experimenting with better rhythms that are having a huge impact on how I start the week. Here are four practices that are helping me learn to love Monday:

Soak in God's Word.

We all know we should be in the Word daily - not just for the next sermon, but for the good of our own souls. Yet, even with this conviction, I still miss days, don’t you? Regardless, I’m working hard to NEVER miss Monday. I need to be refreshed by God’s Word, renewed by God’s Spirit, and re-energized by God’s Son and the reality of all He is and has done for me. I take my time. I read slowly. I reflect deeply. Don’t start Monday without soaking in God’s Word.

Sweat in the sun.

Most Monday mornings I feel like drinking coffee and eating scones on the couch until nap time. What I rarely feel like is exercise (unless you count the reps of bringing my coffee and scones to my face). As is often the case, what I feel like and what is good for me are two very different things. A good workout that gets my heart rate up has a way of washing away the post-weekend funk. Furthermore, I try to ensure I get outside in the sun for this. The combination of exercise and fresh air resets my body and refocuses my mind. So, take a walk, go for a run, find a nice place to hike - just get in the sun and work up a sweat. 

Schedule carefully.

We all have parts of our ministry responsibilities that fill our tanks and parts that drain them. On Mondays I schedule the things that fill my tank. For me that means I don’t take many (if any meetings). I’m an outgoing introvert (which means I’m introverted but I’m not shy). I love spending time with people, but I also find that it takes more out of me than it puts in. You may be the opposite. My advice, schedule what fills your tank and avoid what doesn’t. 

Start on next Sunday.

One of the mistakes people make with fitness is avoiding exercise when they're sore. Unfortunately, it’s exercise that makes your blood pump and your muscles loosen up. Ministry is the same. Many of us start Monday spiritually, emotionally, and mentally sore. One thing that helps me is jumping right back in and getting back to work. For me, that means starting my next sermon. Inevitably I’m impacted by the text and by the end of the day, I’m excited about another opportunity to tell people about Jesus yet again.

Sometimes Monday sucks. Sometimes just getting through it is success. Even though that’s going to happen, it doesn’t have to be normative. Let’s bring more intentionally to this important day, find what fills our tanks and learn to love Mondays together.
 

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