Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays?

Donald Sunukjian suggests that for men, preaching is the closest we ever come to giving birth (ladies reading this – you’re right, we have no idea!) He talks about this thing growing inside and then finally coming out in an intense delivery, followed the next day by the post-partum blues.

Maybe some preachers always feel refreshed and revitalized after preaching. Maybe some can’t wait to get stuck in to work the next day. But for those of us that are sometimes spent after preaching, what should we do with our Mondays?

Many pastors traditionally take Monday off, partially for this reason. Sunday is the busiest day, but also preaching is a uniquely draining experience. So that’s a place to start. Consider rest after the emotional and spiritual exertion of preaching. While rest may re-energize, there are times when it merely exacerbates the lack of motivation. So rest, but also be active. Physical activity, exercise, has a definite effect on our emotional, mental and spiritual reserves.

Consider reading things that are “just for me” on Mondays. Spiritually uplifting, devotional, relaxing, unrelated to present sermon series kind of reading (my wife would probably suggest reading a novel).

Be extra wary of activity with a raised level of temptation. Internet surfing, movie watching, time alone, travel, etc. All are risky, especially when internally depleted. Some of these may be unavoidable (travel), or even helpful (a safe movie), but always be wary. Sin crouches and often pounces when we’re extra vulnerable.

Select your company carefully. Some people energize and motivate, while others drain and discourage. Watch who you’re with on a day that starts with depleted reserves.

Mondays matter, so plan them carefully. Then on Tuesday? You’re pregnant again.

6 thoughts on “Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays?

  1. Another strategy that I find helpful for me is to work on Monday and take Tuesday off. First thing Monday morning, I plan the order of service and email it to those who might need it. As you’ve pointed out, some type of activity is helpful to getting out (or staying out) of the blues.

  2. Thanks–
    God certainly has a sense of humor. I read your post after spinning my wheels all day trying to “get ahead” by preparing a sermon today. Rather than get ahead, I spent the day in frustration and still don’t have a sermon prepared. I guess God knew what He was doing when He ordained periods of rest… even for pastors. Well, it’s off to a committee meeting!

    BTW, wasn’t Lloyd-Jones the one who originally came up with the “giving birth” analogy?

  3. I much prefer to work on Monday — use it to clean up loose ends from Sunday and take a first look at what I’ll be preaching the next Sunday so I can begin thinking about it. I prefer to take Fridays off — so I’m fresh for Sunday.

  4. I do the same as Bob–I have taken Friday’s off for almost 30 years–, but I particularly like robertalley’s idea of taking Tuesday off. Monday is too important a day (for me) in terms of follow-up, but I know that Tuesday is often a day in which I am not worth much [productivity-wise]. You’ve got to find the rhythm that works best for you.

  5. I am a lady who copastors with my husband and here I am, up surfing the Internet in the middle of the night after having preached this afternoon. My husband works full time at a secular job and also does the Lion’s share of the preaching, but once every five weeks I preach, and I think giving birth is a perfect analogy (having birthed four flesh-and-blood children). Metaphorically speaking, I am up checking “Does it have all its fingers and toes, is it breathing, am I even cut out for motherhood?” Yes, here I am again, thinking how I should have stuck closer to my notes and not left out important bits like I did, how perhaps it was too much how I shared my weaknesses, making myself so vulnerable talking about my shortcomings to the flock.

    But then again, Jonah felt like this with his plant that withered and Elijah felt like this after defeating the prophets of Baal so at least I am in good company.

    Read about our church plant in Denmark at

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