It’s popular to talk about Sunday coming on Good Friday. But the reality of the next Sunday is never more real for a pastor than the day after a big day like Easter. Yesterday, I spoke with our first church planter Josh Tovey at Redemption Church in Michigan after successfully launching their church on Easter Sunday. I told him, you have crossed the starting line, not the finish line and Sundays just keep coming now. Sunday has this uncanny regularity to it and pastors know that no Sunday is tougher than the one right after a big Sunday. So, what do you do? Here are four lessons I have learned following big Sundays as a pastor.
1. Take a minute to enjoy what God has done.
The big day has happened. Whether it’s launching the church you have been dreaming of or Easter Sunday happening or seeing lost people saved or new people getting connected; take a moment and pause. The God of all creation has just showed up in your midst and used you and the people at your church to have an impact that could change generations of families and certainly change eternities for individuals. That is a reason to rejoice (Luke 15:7,10). Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate. Everyone on your team has prayed hard, worked hard and done what God has called them to do. Don’t rush to follow-up, do the next task or plan the next event. Rejoice.
2. Do something fun.
Do something that has nothing to do with your job. Go play golf, watch a movie, shoot a gun, hang out with your family, play basketball, work in your garden, paint a picture, or fly a kite. Do whatever it is that you do for fun and not connected to your church. If you don’t have something that you enjoy other than your work, you have problems and your work is probably an idol. Step away from the keyboard right now and repent to God. Then call an elder, trusted friend, or counselor immediately.
3. Get some rest.
I have heard Larry Osborne say before, “Do your best and take a nap.”
You will feel depleted the next day. That is simply because you are depleted. Be ready for that. It will feel overwhelming to wake up on Monday (not realize what day it is at first) and then realize, I have to go write another sermon and help plan another service… As much as you love preaching and seeing people’s lives changed, the work it calls for each week is exhausting. Realizing that Sundays keep coming can be overwhelming. Get some sleep.
4. Guard your heart.
The heart is the wellspring of life. That well can be especially vulnerable after a big Sunday. Prior to that day, you have prayed hard and focused on the assignment God has before you. It can be easy to drop your guard when that day is done. The enemy knows this is a vulnerable time for you and also knows exactly how to get you. Remember you have an enemy that wants to destroy you. If God just used you in a significant way, you are causing damage to the kingdom of darkness. Just because the day is over doesn’t mean the battle is over. Guard your heart from weaknesses you know that you are especially susceptible to. Plan to celebrate, do something fun and get some rest. The battle is not over. You just crossed another mile marker in the race. However, that was not the finish line. Sunday is still coming.
What do you do after a big day at your church?