Monday is the day that no one is glad to see. Kids have to return to school. Adults with normal schedules return to work. I have never heard anyone say, “TGIM!” Monday is the day disliked by most. Pastors are no exception.
Pastors often experience what is called “Monday Blues.” There is a low that comes after the high of the weekend. For some, Saturdays are a day of anticipation and excitement as they prepare for Sunday. For others, Saturdays are nerve racking as they scramble to finish preparing their sermons and lessons. Then comes Sunday and all the energy it takes to preach. Some brothers teach Sunday School, preach in the morning, then preach in the evening, ending their day in exhaustion. Speaking from experience, preaching is tiring. There have been Sunday evenings that I have fallen asleep on the couch within minutes of sitting down.
Spent energy is not the only tiring thing about preaching. Preaching presents another challenge that one must experience to understand. There is a lot of weight in declaring the Word of God to the people of God. It is a heavy task. Pastors stand before the people of God and join the prophets in saying, “This is what the Lord says.” Think about that for a moment. It is one thing to mess up when representing another human, but what about misrepresenting the holy God? This is why hours are spent in preparation and prayer before speaking God’s words. The emotional and mental strain can be taxing.
Then Monday comes, and the pastor has had time to reflect on what he said in his sermon on Sunday. Perhaps he has received emails or messages about what he said. Doubt begins to settle in his heart. Did I say that accurately? Did I rightly represent the Lord Jesus? Was I loving in my tone? Was I serious enough? Was I clear? Should I even be doing what I am doing? Many of those thoughts flood into my mind and get into my soul on Mondays. Brother Shepherds reading this, can you relate?
Another tiring part of Sundays is pastoral care. Some pastors spend a lot of time after the church gatherings speaking to individuals in need. If the pastor is an introvert the added time of visiting with folks can be exhausting. There is the weight of bad news learned, followed by the roller coaster of good news. There may be complaints received. Good pastors love the people God has placed in their care. Some of those people are hurting, and pastors share in that hurt. All of this stews on Sunday evening, and by Monday morning a lot of things come crashing down.
Mondays drag a lot of weary and wounded pastors down. Some pastors take Mondays off to recuperate. Other pastors retreat to the recesses of their study to grind the grueling hours of Monday away in office work or administration. Some of us take to the outdoors to breathe fresh air and remember that God is still in control.
I have felt the despair of those moments. I have had many of the Monday morning doubts. There are seasons where every day feels like a Monday. I have wandered around in brain fog. I have buried myself in office work. I have wondered if I am really doing what I should be as a pastor. Mondays can be dark days.
A line that the Holy Spirit has brought to mind in those moments is from Psalm 23. The first part of verse three says, “He restores my soul.” Brother Shepherds, when we are lying flat on our backs with Monday blues, the Good Shepherd, who gave His life for us, comes to us. He lifts us up. He cares for us. He restores our depressed and wounded souls.
Brother Shepherds, you are not alone in the work of shepherd care. You have a Shepherd of your soul (1 Peter 2:25). He has died to have you. He is the Good Shepherd. He will not let you go (John 10:14-15, 27-30). I pray that the Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, will restore your soul today. May He cause you to look to Him.
If you are struggling, you can contact me at the “Letters to the Editor” page. I would love to be an encouragement to you. Look to the great Shepherd of the sheep, and may he restore your soul.
I pray for my brother shepherds. Many of them will face the Monday blues today. Please restore their weary and wounded souls. Build them up with the Word of Your grace. The Lord Jesus has died for them. He owns them. He holds them in His hand. May they find rest in Him, the Shepherd of their souls.
Amen (Psalm 23:3; John 10:14-15, 27-30; 1 Peter 2:25)
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