Monday morning. For preachers it’s the day after Sunday (I suppose that’s true for others too?) Whether you are privileged to be in a paid ministry position, or privileged to have “normal” employment, Monday is an important time for a preacher. My suggestion:
Reflect – Take a few minutes at some point to prayerfully reflect on yesterday’s preaching. Whether you were the preacher, or a listener, or both (ie. two services), it is good to reflect on yesterday’s preaching. My mind goes back to the three questions I’ve heard and used so many times in training sessions – (1) What did the preacher do well? (2) What was the preacher’s main idea? And finally (3), what one thing would you suggest the preacher could do to improve that message?
Record – How many helpful insights have been lost over the years like small toy cars under furniture? It’s easy to relish them, then fail to hang on to them and they are gone. I need to make a note of how well Josh did that first-person as Jude writing, um, Jude, sitting at the desk to write with the words appearing on the screen via simple but effective powerpoint, then standing to explain his thinking before sitting to write some more. I need to make a note of how I failed to overtly link my message to the particular situation of that local church, but only spoke in broader terms of “the church” when “this church” would have hit home more directly. I need to record those thoughts somewhere . . .
Relax – Unless you’re very diligent about Monday being a day off, this may not seem possible. But in one sense, it is. For those of us not in other employment, Monday can be a day to genuinely relax, or at least to deal with other matters – administrative, email, desk clearing kind of work. For those who go from the frantic nature of Sunday to the hectic nature of Monday in the office (or on the site, etc.), it is still worth taking a mental break from the pressure of sermon preparation. Don’t immediately get the adrenaline flowing by wrestling with the big idea of your next message. Mentally, emotionally, even physically, we need to release that pressure and relax, even if only for a day.
Renew – Before diving back into sermon preparation, make it a goal to consciously renew spiritually. Look to the Lord, dwell in His love, abide in Him, wait on Him, walk in step with the Spirit, etc. Make it so the next sermon prep is not about getting things going spiritually again (that’s a sign of real spiritual peril), but rather make the next sermon prep an overflow of a close spiritual walk that births a fire in your spirit.
Mondays matter. Have a good one.