Do you know what Sunday did to the pastor? Oh, he’s tired, but there is much more than that going on. Here’s a bit about my Monday journey as a pastor who has spent decades preaching God’s Word. Let me say, I feel more than a little foolish even writing this out. But here goes.
I Hate Mondays
I don’t hate Mondays the same way everyone else does. The average person hates Mondays because the fun of the weekend is over and now it’s time for work. For me, it is more of an existential crisis. The questions, “Who am I?” and “What the heck am I doing?” dominate.
Monday is usually a tough day for pastors. For those who don’t know, Sunday ministry can create Monday funk, even when it’s going well. Most of my pastor friends were told early on, “don’t ever resign on a Monday.” It can be a day we find ourselves with a distorted perspective on how life is going. It often takes some separation, or distance from Sunday to see things clearly again.
In my ministry, the Monday funk always started immediately after the sermon was over. Some say it’s an adrenaline crash. I’m sure that has something to do with it. Others emphasize the spiritual battle at work. The enemy wants us to question. And there is that too. But, for me at least, I think there is something else going on.
Preaching and Vulnerability
You see, after a sermon I feel more like the court jester than I do a sage. I just stood up there and let you see more than I felt comfortable with. I just revealed my weakness as I detailed how God spoke to me. There is nothing glorious in saying, “I am the man in need of this.” As you listened, you had opportunity to measure my skill, my knowledge and my character. You could watch my family and know if I was telling the truth. You looked for sincerity, integrity, the right measure of vulnerability and strength. And I preached, knowing in every category I am lacking. That’s foolish.
Why would anyone do that week after week? I ask myself the same question. It’s not for the compliments because they are dismissed with the thought, “if you only knew.” It’s not for the paycheck. I could write fiction easier than proclaiming heart-piercing truth.
What will I do?
Until I discover an adequate answer, I will be a fool for Christ! Preach the Word. Let people see. Let God do what He will. Take a nap. Do it again.
- Be a fool for Christ. We’re all going to be fools for something. Some are fools for riches. Some are fools for sport. Some are fools for business. We know Christ changes lives. We know he moves women and men to do amazing things that have transformed every corner of this world. If we are going to spend our lives on something, or someone, we can’t do better than Christ.
- Preach the Word. After all, what else do you have to say? No other words have lasting power. Any of your creative ideas, or pearls of wisdom, or life guidance cannot come close to measuring up to a Word that for thousands of years has been laying bare the human heart and making it new.
- Let people see. They will see anyway. They know. It’s better that they know from you. Let them see God repair the broken vessel piece by piece, step by step. It will give them hope for their own lives.
- Let God do what He will. God is in the results business. This is his game. If he wants you displayed, laid-bare for others to gawk at, so be it. He did that to himself with his Son on the cross. His goal is redemption. It takes a lot of suffering and pain to make people ready for glory.
- Take a nap. God made me spirit and body. When the spirit is spent, the body needs rest. I can’t be controlled by weariness. I need to rest, in Him. I need to lay, comforted by the God who slayed me.
- Do It again. When you ask, I will do it again. Why? What else would I do? The God of all creation has made himself known. He has redeemed me. He keeps drawing me in, while saying “Tell them this.” So I will.
Thank you for letting me and all the preachers you know, play the fool for Christ. And thank you for the prayers that keep us going.
If there is a way I can encourage you, or serve your ministry, my email is on my “About Jim Renke” page. Or you can direct message me on twitter @jimrenke, or instagram at jimrenke. I’d love to hear from you. You can also stay connected on my facebook page.
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loved, “It takes a lot of suffering and pain to make people ready for glory.” Word!