How Your Pastor Feels on Sunday Night

25 Apr

If I am your pastor then I can tell you for sure how your pastor feels on Sunday evening, after the day’s events.  But even if I am not your pastor I think I can tell you pretty accurately what your pastor is feeling.  So if you’ve ever wondered how the pastor feels at the end of a Sunday, this article may give you a good idea.

Most Sundays, at the end of the day, your pastor will feel . . .

1.  Elated

There are few greater privileges than worship with God’s people.  To be able to stand before them and proclaim the Word of God is an exhilirating experience.  To prepare all week and then to have the joy of sharing the fruit of study and prayer with those gathered is exciting.  Add to this the opportunities to connect with people on an individual level, to listen to the people or to answer questions, and the day grows even sweeter.  To see many in the congregation following every word out of a real desire to know God and then to see people within the congregation over the years grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord is wonderful.  Most Sundays leave me thrilled to be a pastor, happy to be involved in this work.

2.  Exhausted

There are few things more exciting than Sundays preaching the Word and being with the saints, but there are also few things that are more exhausting.  At the end of a Sunday, I have poured my heart out in a thirty to forty minute morning sermon and a hour to an hour and a half Bible study in the evening.  I have had countless conversations and dealt with all kinds of issues in the life of the church, from the mundane to the momentous.  By the time the kids are in bed, I am dog tired.  I work fewer hours on Sunday than most other days, but it is the most tiring day of the week.

3.  Deflated

The cousin of exhaustion, I often feel emotionally deflated on Sunday.  This is especially true when I have been stirred by what I am preaching and am so eager to preach it, but see the evidence all around me that many in the congregation do not share my joy.  The greatest sadness of my ministry is seeing people say “no thanks” to the treasure of life in Christ.  Now most church members who do not want to really know the Lord think they are Christians and probably really feel themselves a cut above the average person because they come to church.  But their hearts for God are cold.  The disinterest, the haste to leave the service the moment it ends, the failure to connect with others in the body for fellowship, all these signs and more point to hearts that are not awakened to life in Christ.  This, along with any other discouragements that have come my way during the day, can leave me emotionally empty on Sunday night.

4.  Energized

In spite of the fatigue and emotional turmoil of the day, I come away from most Sundays energized for a new week.  It is a very rare week that I do not feel like going in to work on Monday morning.  It is a rare week when I am not really looking forward to diving into the Word again and being with the people of the church.  I am a pastor.  I am here to pray, preach and be with the people for God’s glory and their eternal joy.  I do not get tired of that.

Many people reading this article might say, “Sunday makes my pastor schizophrenic.”  There is a grain of truth in that.  Sunday is the day of the highest highs and the lowest lows.  But this is not an altogether unfamiliar reality for ministers of the gospel in Scripture.  Paul felt this kind of tension between blessing and hardship and expressed it in 2 Corinthians 6, when he spoke of himself and his co-laborers in the gospel as, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.”

The load most pastors carry is nothing compared to the load of Paul, but pastors face a similar pattern of blessings and challenges, especially on Sunday.   So now you know how at least one pastor feels on Sunday night.

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