It’s Monday morning. Most pastors I know are taking their day off today. I understand why: most pastors I know are pretty busy during the week, but things build as they get closer to Sunday. By Monday morning they’re often tired and maybe even discouraged. They need a day to recover.
Years ago, Archibald Hart wrote of post-adrenaline depression and how it affects pastors after Sundays:
…what I was experiencing was a profound shutdown of my adrenal system, following a period of high stress or demand. It was as if my adrenal system were saying, “That’s enough abuse for now; let’s give it a break,” and shut down so that I had no choice in the matter.
What this means is that pastors generally aren’t feeling their best on Monday mornings.
It’s for this reason that I find it helpful to work on Mondays. I tend to avoid the office and meetings on Mondays and do some low-intensity work. I find that there’s always a pile of stuff that I really need to deal with, and that don’t place heavy demands on me like many of the more intense tasks in ministry.
The reality is that I need a weekly sabbath – not a day off, and not a legalistic day, but a day of joy and refreshment. It’s not a day to catch up around the house or to run errands. It’s a day to completely unplug and release myself from all obligations, and to enjoy relationships and activities that bring me joy. For me, Mondays simply don’t work. I can’t enter into this day of delight when I’m simply trying to recover from the day before.
If you’re a pastor, I don’t want to tell you what to do. If Mondays work for you, I won’t argue. But if you’re feeling blue on Mondays, please consider making them a low-key work day, and take your weekly sabbath sometime else when you can really enjoy it.