By Thom Rainer
“I resign from the church in my mind about ten times a year. Every time it has been on a Monday.”
It’s a direct quote from a pastor at the Church Answers’ forum. And I’ve heard similar quotes many times.
So why are Mondays so difficult for pastors? Why do they have thoughts of resignation on this day more than others? I’ve heard five reasons consistently.
- Sunday is both emotionally energizing and draining. If that sounds like an emotional roller coaster, it is. There are many facets of Sunday ministry that are emotionally charged, but the sermon is the main reason. Pastors prepare with intensity and they preach with intensity. It is typically the highlight of a pastor’s week, but it is usually the most exhausting as well.
- Someone made a negative comment before or after the sermon. Some of the most vulnerable moments for a pastor are right before or after the sermon. The pastor is intensely focused before the sermon and typically worn out after it. When a church member selects one of those times to make a snarky comment, it usually carries over to the next day.
- There were a lot of meetings on Sunday. It makes sense. You already have a good number of the members available to meet. It helps them with their schedules. But it adds to an already exhausting day for pastors. When they wake up on Monday, they often feel like they played in a football game on Sunday.
- Pastors feel like they neglected their families on Sunday. In reality, they often do. They have little time for spouses and children on such a busy day. The following Monday can feel like a hangover of regret.
- They had a business meeting on Sunday night. Sunday evenings are the most common time for church business meetings. And church business meetings can get ugly. I spoke to one pastor whose church had a raucous business meeting until 10 p.m. on a Sunday evening. And he had after-business-meeting meetings until midnight. He was not in a very good mood on Monday morning.
Pastors, if you are ready to resign on Monday mornings, you are not alone. Don’t think you are an aberration or not in tune with the will of God. But give it a couple of days. Today’s sense of foreboding gloom will likely yield to a better disposition in just a few days.
And church members, pray for your pastors. Do everything you can to protect them and encourage them. Their Mondays can be a lot better if they know you care.
This article was originally published at ThomRainer.com on March 19. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and ten grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer.