On Monday morning I don’t know if I’m “live or on tape.”

People responsible for any big event know the letdown that occurs when it is over. Athletes feel it the day after the game. Performers sense it for hours after the show. For pastors and other church leaders, it happens every Monday.

Archibald Hart, dean of Fuller Theological Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology, contends that whenever we pump a lot of adrenalin (as pastors do on Sunday), we are going to have a letdown. On Mondays, my mind feels slower, my body aches, and because we are an integrated being of body, soul, and spirit, we tend to feel it everywhere. I feel depressed. God doesn’t seem close.

Pastors have traditionally taken Monday off; that is what I did for 30 years. But taking Monday off only compounded the post-Sunday letdown. Now my Sabbath falls on Friday. Instead of taking Monday off, I have turned it into a light work day with lots of variety—an upbeat schedule. The advantages:

• It is better for my family. On Monday my family got me at my worst and most irritable. My wife deserves better. The children, too. Ours are all grown, but for a pastor with school-age children, taking Saturday off rather than Monday offers much-needed family time.

• It is better for my friendships. Pastors need deep friendships inside and outside the church, and that means sharing leisure time. It is harder, however, to get together on Monday. One minister remembers “the difficulties I had trying to find persons in the cities where I pastored who could play golf on Mondays or Tuesdays.” Most lay people find it easier to get away from work later in the week; some can only get away on weekends.

• It makes it easier to identify with my congregation. One Monday morning I sat in ...

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