We’ve all had that Sunday. You know, it was raining. Attendance was down. The big event you had was a flop. A leader quit, a parent laced into you, your pastor dropped in at precisely the wrong moment. That kind of Sunday. But then we have all had the great Sunday. Everything clicked. Students were impacted with the gospel, parents volunteered to lead a group. Students gave their lives to Christ, and the pastor overheard your biggest fans telling new families how lucky the church was to have you.
Sundays can be good and Sundays can be bad, but either way, you wake up to Monday. No matter how Sunday goes, Monday presents its own set of issues. Mondays are typically times to clean up, fix problems, have that conversation, get started on next week’s plans, etc. But Mondays don’t have to be bad. No matter how your weekend goes, Mondays can be harnessed for awesome. Every. Single. Week. Don’t believe it? Take a look at these five ways to make Monday awesome:
- Prioritize. Every Monday must start with God. Whether you thank Him for what happened on Sunday or ask Him to forgive you for what happened on Sunday: start with God. He makes all things new – including you and the work He has called you to. It is easy to be discontent when our focus is not on Christ. Rather than hitting one of those church staff hiring sites, hide yourself in the Word and seek God’s face first every Monday. Period.
- Forget. We would love to forget all of the bad things that can happen on a Sunday. But here is the trick to Monday awesomeness: you’ll need to forget some of the good stuff in order to press forward in your ministry successfully. The great things that happened to get you where you are won’t continue to get you where you need to go. No matter how good something has been, forget it long enough to look at it with fresh eyes and a discerning heart. We can numb our souls to ministry when we continuously try to bank on strategies and ideas that “work” rather than seek God for the new He may want to unleash. Don’t be mistaken, great strategies should continue to be utilized in your ministry, but don’t be the leader who wakes up to find that they have been riding past successes into the ground far too long after their expiration date.
- Remember. Do you remember why/when/how God called you to work with students? Was it a gradual surrender on your part? Was it the request of a pastor who saw something in you that you hadn’t yet? Regardless of your journey into student ministry, take time to remember it. Reflect on the purpose God has for you. Rather than allowing failures, and issues, and problems steal your joy, rest in Christ’s finished work. Pursue His call and focus on Him while in pursuit. You won’t have time to waste on yesterday’s problems when you are busy allowing the Lord to use you today.
- Dream Big. It happens to all of us. We start well and then life happens and we can find ourselves bitter, broken, feeling used, perhaps even feeling unwanted or unappreciated. Mondays are the perfect place for these feelings to hide. It is in this moment you need to ask yourself a key question: “If I could do anything I wanted to impact students for Christ, what would it be?” Now get to work focusing on that answer. You don’t have time for all those issues that can drag you down, you have an epic ministry to serve students and families as the Holy Spirit empowers you to do the work of the gospel! That’s too big a deal to waste wallowing in pity or allowing people to steal your time and focus. God-sized goals and dreams are worth your time and help reinvigorate your days as you press toward His will for your ministry.
- Attack. Let’s face it, Monday can be a tiresome day. We typically give our all to Sundays. Whether it’s family time that we give up, or even time that we must spend setting up or tearing down, Sundays bring emotional, physical, and spiritual exhaustion. To make Mondays awesome you must attack each of these issues. Emotional fitness will require you to build healthy relationships with your coworkers, volunteers, family, and friends. Plan some time Monday to build into all of those relationships, whether its a lunch date with your spouse, a trip to the park with your kids, a prayer time with your leaders, or a debrief with coworkers. Take the time to do it and why not on Monday? When it comes to physical health Mondays are perfect for taking a walk, a jog, a trip to the gym, or any other form of healthy exercise. Not only will this benefit your health but it will give you time to relieve stress and focus on the day’s issues. Spiritual health is the most important factor here. We have already stated that you need to start Mondays with God. Beyond that critical first step, press into other ways to strengthen your spiritual health. Monday is a great day to meet with an accountability partner, journal what God is doing in your ministry and personal walk, or have a time of personal worship (you know, in which you don’t have to oversee the details for everyone else but can just focus on Jesus).
While there are plenty of reasons to hate on Monday, it really can be a great day. The secret is intentionally pursuing the right things while balancing the details and logistics of the weekend. For some, Monday is the day they get to a job they don’t care too much for and spend years of their life on so they look toward retirement. In student ministry, we can look at Monday as that weekly first step in the awesome calling that God has for us to disciple students and minister to families. Rather than kicking off another round of the daily grind, Monday can be the catalyst for awesome that God allows us to be a part of in student ministry.
This post was written by Chris Swain, Director of Lifeway Student Ministry Publishing