4 Ways To Ruin A Ministry Monday
Mondays can be difficult for ministers, especially those who preach and teach on Sunday. The rush and excitement of Sunday is over. The numbers and the stats of the day before are reported. The issues and complications that were brought to light on Sunday have to be processed and diagnosed. And of course another sermon has to be prepared for the relentless return of the Sabbath which is now only six days away. Mondays are crucial. Wasting them are detrimental to the week. Here are some ways ministers can ruin them.
Step #1 Focus On The Difficulties of Ministry
Remember, you have the hardest job of anyone in the church. No one understands how difficult you have it; the constant preparation, the long hours, the nagging problems of the congregation. Focus on this. Be sure to hit the snooze button several times before dragging out of bed. Make sure you capitalize on the things you deserve from your wife, children, and staff. Spend the day mostly thinking about what others should be doing for you. This will help neutralize any compassion toward the people in the church who work harder than you and make less than you. Be sure to avoid those passages of Scripture that assure you that suffering with joy is the true path to discipleship. Also avoid any biographies of Charles Spurgeon, John Bunyan, William Wilberforce, and basically anyone who joyfully endured pain and hardships for the sake of the kingdom. And whatever you do, don’t think about the Cross. You are likely to reassured of God’s love for you which will likely put you on a path of joy and enthusiasm. Monday is about you. The goal is self-pity.
Step #2 Focus On The Numbers
Be sure to thoroughly run through all the numbers from Sunday; giving, attendance, Sunday School, volunteers, etc. If they are lower than you expected, let that determine your value and worth as a pastor. Likely, you are responsible. If the previous week’s sermon had not been so poorly prepared and delivered, the numbers would’ve been better. Of course you could blame it on the weather, the time of year, the busyness of everyone’s schedule, but blaming it on yourself will likely give you an advantage for ruining Monday. You will be tempted to think that numbers don’t define success. Perhaps a verse from Paul or Jesus will come to mind. But remember, this is America. Numbers matter more than anything.
On the other hand, if the numbers are higher than expected, be sure you attribute this to yourself as well. Obviously you are the reason. With your preaching, your leadership, your skills in raising up leaders and motivating people, why wouldn’t God bless your church numerically? Focus on this and let your ego get even more inflated and Monday will be decimated very quickly.
Step #3 Focus On The Negatives Of Sunday
Think about those two or three off-the-wall comments from disgruntled members. Forget about the encouragement and helpful critique from the people who love you and want the best for you and the church. The naysayers are the ones you should hone in on. They set the tone for your ministry. They deserve your time, attention, and emotions. Make sure to dwell on the comment, “They are not happy about this.” Make of list of people “they” might be. Once you’ve got the list, be sure to think of really spiritual insults you might be able to use on them when the time is right. Question their spiritual maturity, even their salvation. This will be a lethal weapon against your joy and passion for ministry on Monday.
Also, meditate on this question, “Am I really making any difference in people’s lives?” Monday’s are great days to question to relevancy of preaching, the Bible, and especially the Gospel. Keeping in mind a few other churches that always tend to glimmer and shine with growth, multiplication, and missional passion will really help lodge doubt and uncertainty into your spirit.
Step #4 Waste As Much Time As You Can
Once you’ve followed the first three steps, the best thing to do is nothing. Be sure to waste lots of time mindlessly surfing the web. Check Twitter and Facebook constantly. But be sure to look busy to everyone around you (remember step #1!). You’ll probably want to eat and drink something really unhealthy as well. Lots of chocolate and soft drinks will do the trick. This will help numb some of the frustration and conviction that might be starting to creep in. This will also help you concentrate on steps 1-3.
So there it is, a ruined Monday!
Of course I am being overly sarcastic in this post. Monday’s are often difficult days for me. I have learned (often painfully) how quickly I can waste my Monday and set a tone for the week that is neither honoring to God, my family, or the church. I pray that all pastors reading this will make the most of their Mondays, no matter how difficult. For me, Sunday is determined on Monday.