How do you overcome the Monday morning “preaching hangover?”

 You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emotional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before.  Personally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.”  There is no easy remedy, medication, or quick fix that can prevent it.  There are, however, several practical efforts I make every Monday that are tremendously helpful to fight through the fog.  Here are 4 for your consideration:

Pray and read Scripture.  I know this seems like a “no brainer” for a pastor.  The fact is sometimes on Monday morning…I don’t feel like it.  Yet, this is still what gives life to our weary souls and we must make ourselves continue to engage, even if we are struggling to want to think about anything, even God and God’s Word.  I find pushing through the fog by reaching for the bread of life is what gives a helpful kick start as we begin the weekly grind again.

Know your limitations.  Many pastors take Monday as their day off.  For those of us who choose a different day off to spend with our family, we have to proceed with Mondays carefully.  I am in no condition to deal with any heavy, thought-provoking, emotional counseling or conflict situations, at least until after lunch.  You may be different, but the “hangover” affects us all in some way that requires discernment as we plan the day.  Be careful you don’t put yourself in a position in your day that requires you to make a big decision when you are not nearly as sharp as you need to be to make it.

Exercise.  I exercise 4-5 times a week, but if there is a day when it is especially important to do so, it is Monday.  If you only exercise 1 day a week, I recommend it be Monday.  It hurts…many times more than normal following a Lord’s Day, but a good 30+ minute cardiovascular workout is exactly what I need to help shake the preaching hangover. 

Assign achievable tasks.  The preaching hangover is by no means an excuse to be a sluggard and unproductive.  Give yourself attainable tasks and make sure you push through to achieve them.  If it is your day off, make sure you are working hard to perk up and engage with your family so your wife and children do not get your “sluggard day.”  If you are trying to be productive in the office, but have a hard time studying for very long as I do, schedule other tasks that are within your frame of mind to accomplish.  For me, Monday is full of checking emails, simple administration, running errands, and meeting with folks that I know will be more light, encouraging, and less likely to be a blind-side confrontation.  You may be able to handle more than I typically can.  Just make sure they are tasks that are reasonable for you to accomplish in the day.

I hope in some way these suggestions will trigger ideas that will be of help to you in clearing the cob webs of the “preaching hangover.”  Just remember, when you do have to face a long, weighty, conflict full Monday because the needs of the congregation demand it…God’s grace is sufficient to walk through it.

Posted in Preaching, The Pastor's Soul
15 comments on “How do you overcome the Monday morning “preaching hangover?”
  1. Larry Linson says:

    Thanks for the helpful tips.

  2. Jim Savastio says:

    Good stuff brother! I’ll be passing this around!
    Jim

  3. Randal Pollock says:

    Many years ago as a young pastor I read a similar article. One thing impressed me and stayed with me. This writer was very strong in recommending that a pastor never take Monday as his day off for the exact reasons which you have stated here. His recommendation was that on Monday’s, recupping pastors should go to their offices and do light work, correspondence, telephone calls, etc. Your suggestions for prayer and bible reading are excellent.

  4. Steve Doyle says:

    Thank you for this. Sometimes I almost fall into a state of depression on Sundays. Especially if I feel I didn’t bring God’s Word well, or if some of the flock decided to dump “concerns” or “observations” on me as they are walking out the door heading home on Sunday. Yesterday was one such day. I went to bet with a lot of sadness and felt guilty that I did so on the Lord’s day.

  5. Rusty Beals says:

    One of my pastors and I were just talking about this yesterday. Mine usually lasts for several days. Keep in mind I only preach once every other month. (new guy:) thank you for posting this. I have a regular job where I work 40 to 50 hours a week, so there are no days off. I think the exersize is one I need to add to the list.

  6. Jim says:

    One other thing…one of my mentors said, “Never resign on a Monday.”

  7. Tracy says:

    Don’t forget to communicate to your wife about this time needed for recooperation so she can plan to do everything she can to help you to ‘recover’ as best she can by preparing the kids, house, schedule, etc. Communicating with your spouse should probably be another no brainer, but I know it’s difficult to remember when you’re mentally spent. Any woman who is new to being a pastor’s wife–whether she’s a newlywed or been married for years but her husband is fresh out of seminary and starting vocational ministry later in life–is likely going to need instruction in this perhaps repeatedly. What is needful rest for you could look like laziness to her if she’s thinking of ‘work’ in terms of a traditional 9-5 job. For a woman thinking this way, “preaching hangover” might be a useful term to use. For what it’s worth.

  8. Tracy says:

    And what I meant to say first, and forgot and left it till last, is that this post was very helpful to me in terms of helping me understand my husband’s needs better. The first bit was meant to help out the men married to slow-learning wives like me.

  9. Daniel Lowry says:

    Thanks for this, brother.

  10. Steve Ely says:

    Yep, I identify. I call it PMS (Post Message Syndrome).

  11. Andrew says:

    Monday is quite often the day when my idols come back knocking on the door. They beg to come in with all their empty promise that serving them would leave me less devastated than serving God; that I wouldn’t be left as devastated as I find myself on Mondays! But to their disfavor it is very their knocking that awakens me to ask myself who I really serve – my own reputation or my Savior Jesus?

    • Andrew says:

      Sorry, but my last line should read:
      But to their disfavor it is their very knocking that awakens me to ask myself who I really serve – my own reputation or my Savior Jesus?

15 Pings/Trackbacks for "How do you overcome the Monday morning “preaching hangover?”"
  1. [...] PRACTICAL SHEPHERDING: The Preacher’s Monday ‘Hangover’ You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emot- ional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before. Person- ally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.”  There is no easy remedy, or quick fix to prevent it.    MORE [...]

  2. [...] PRACTICAL SHEPHERDING: The Preacher’s Monday ‘Hangover’ You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emot- ional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before. Person- ally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.”  There is no easy remedy, or quick fix to prevent it.    MORE [...]

  3. [...] PRACTICAL SHEPHERDING: The Preacher’s Monday ‘Hangover’ You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emot- ional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before. Person- ally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.”  There is no easy remedy, or quick fix to prevent it.    MORE [...]

  4. [...] PRACTICAL SHEPHERDING: The Preacher’s Monday ‘Hangover’ You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emot- ional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before. Person- ally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.”  There is no easy remedy, or quick fix to prevent it.    MORE [...]

  5. [...] PRACTICAL SHEPHERDING: The Preacher’s Monday ‘Hangover’ You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emot- ional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before. Person- ally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.”  There is no easy remedy, or quick fix to prevent it.    MORE [...]

  6. [...] PRACTICAL SHEPHERDING: The Preacher’s Monday ‘Hangover’ You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emot- ional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before. Person- ally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.”  There is no easy remedy, or quick fix to prevent it.    MORE [...]

  7. [...] PRACTICAL SHEPHERDING: The Preacher’s Monday ‘Hangover’ You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emot- ional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before. Person- ally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.”  There is no easy remedy, or quick fix to prevent it.    MORE [...]

  8. [...] PRACTICAL SHEPHERDING: The Preacher’s Monday ‘Hangover’ You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emot- ional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before. Person- ally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.”  There is no easy remedy, or quick fix to prevent it.    MORE [...]

  9. [...] This post is more for preachers (and a few preachers visit this blog regularly) like myself, but I suppose all could be helped. Brian Croft writes about the Preaching Hangover: “You may call it something different, but every pastor knows about it.  It is the mental, emotional, and spiritual crash that takes place the next day (Monday) as a result of pouring your heart and soul out in the proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people the day before.  Personally, it has affectionately become known as, “The Preaching Hangover.” You can read the rest here. [...]

  10. [...] How do you overcome the “morning after preaching hangover.” Helpful for pastors. [...]

  11. [...] great post on the Preaching hangover. No, it does not involve Mike Tyson or [...]

  12. [...] Clary provides some of Michael Haykin’s thoughts on the word and its right definition. Preaching Hangover – Here’s one for preachers. “You may call it something different, but every pastor [...]

  13. [...] Croft, over at Practical Shepherding, has a great post answering the question: how do you overcome the Monday morning preaching hangover? He gives four [...]

  14. [...] Just ride it out.  Tell them you will have an answer for them by mid-week.  Read this post on how to overcome the Monday morning “hangover” for further help.  Holding my big decisions and responses for many matters until at least Tuesday [...]

  15. […] I’m not feeling too much of that “preacher’s hangover” that many people talk about. (I’ve endured my fair share of those over the past 10 years, […]

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