A Pastoral Case of the Mondays

4 Reasons Pastors SHOULDN'T Take Mondays Off

Is it Monday already for pastors?

Sundays are work days for pastors.  They are busy from early mornings until late at night.  CityView Church where I lead is a portable church, we meet in an elementary school.  Setup starts at 6:30am and tear down is over at 12:30pm.  Then there are lunches, counseling appointments, and meetings in the afternoon.  Finally, we’ve got Life Group at 5pm.

All of these things are GREAT and necessary and… exhausting…

In the past I’ve made the mistake of taking Mondays off.  That’s right, I said mistake.  I’ve got a friend.  Here are 4 reasons why I think it’s important that pastors shake off their case of the Mondays and go into the office.

4 Motivations for Pastors to work on Monday

  1. Debrief.

    Sunday is fresh in your mind.  You need to debrief.  What went right? What went wrong? Who was there?  Who wasn’t?  On Monday, it’s still on your mind.  If Sunday was a particularly good day (or bad one) you likely haven’t stopped thinking about it.  Consequently, I always prefer to deal with it early so that it doesn’t shade the rest of my week.

  2. Administrate.

    Monday is a great day to deal with numbers. I look at attendance for our services, life groups, and giving.  I look at trending data and try to assess how we are doing.  Emails are returned and notes are written.  I take out my plans for the coming week’s message.  I look at meetings that are coming up that week and prepare.  It’s a good day to plan, pray, and think.  My friend Jeremy Roberts has written on this as well.

  3. Recharge.

    Recharging is really important. Sunday has been draining and it is sometimes hard to worship on Sunday mornings when you are about to preach. I take some time on Monday to write personal notes to volunteers and visitors and listen to some podcasts of preachers I follow.  I need to hear the Word from others.  It brings deep encouragement and good renewal.

  4. Family.

    I spend my weekly day off, usually Friday, with my family.  I take my boys to school, have a breakfast or lunch date with my wife, take a nap in the afternoon, and plan some low impact family time for the evening.  Frankly, I’m not in the mood for any of that on Monday.  I can barely form sentences.  I want to have energy for my family. That’s not me on Monday.

I recently heard Steve Gaines, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, speak at a conference.  He said in no uncertain terms that pastors shouldn’t work on Mondays because “you shouldn’t feel that bad on your day off”.

What do you think?  Do you take Mondays off?  Another day?  Why?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “A Pastoral Case of the Mondays

  1. I used to take Mondays off and found it very helpful. I love Sundays, but I found myself wiped out after them. However, sometimes taking Mondays off meant that I had to dodge lots of phone calls and play catch-up on Tuesdays because the rest of the world hits the ground running on Mondays.

    Now, however I’ve only been taking Saturdays off. Though I recognize that pastors indeed “work” on Sundays, I do struggle with justifying 2 full days off. I know many “normal people” (i.e. non-vocational-ministry types) who work 6 days and rest only 1 day a week. I also struggle with “counting” hours like the Sunday worship gathering, small group gatherings, lunches, etc as “work hours” when I would most likely attend all these things as a volunteer as well (and I expect other church members to volunteer their time at these events too).

    I’m not suggesting all pastors do the same, just sharing my own personal convictions. Do you have any thoughts on advocating for 2 days?

    • Thanks for sharing Andrew. I definitely get what you are saying about the tension of calling Sunday a work day. I have and still have some of that especially when thinking about others who are busy and volunteering their time as well. For me, the crux of the issue is am I exerting some sort of leadership (i.e. organizing, preaching/teaching, etc)?

      That said I do prefer two days off. That rarely happens. Typically, we end up at 1.5 days off a week. Something like half day Friday and all day Saturday. But Friday is usually very light like returning emails, last look at message, etc.