I have been blessed to pastor for almost 20 years. During those 20 years, I have walked through difficult challenges, horrible tragedies, natural disasters, as well as wonderful victories.
I love pastors! I don’t think there is a more selfless calling than that to serve others in pastoral ministry.
I use social media a lot to promote the great things that God is doing in our church. There is rarely a day that I don’t post some good news about our church. However, I think it is important to realize that social media is a billboard, not a diary. I don’t usually put the fine print of my life on social media. The truth is, the fine print of my life includes regular struggles with discouragement, depression, loneliness, low self-esteem, and etc.
I have recently identified that my greatest times of spiritual warfare is after I preach. Regardless of whether I have a great service or not, whether the crowd was good or not, whether I preach good or not, it seems as if I struggle with my greatest warfare on Sunday afternoons.
I am convinced that the reason for that is because I prepare all week long for that Sunday morning celebration. I personally preach multiple times each Sunday. When I complete those services, I have emptied myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is in that place of vulnerability that the enemy attacks me. I analyze everything about the day, I become sensitive to every voice of criticism, and even though I try not to do so, I am often comparing myself to others.
As a result of realizing my greatest time of vulnerability, I have made a few intentional steps to protect myself. I would encourage you to do the same. Here are four things every pastor should do after church:
1. Ignore the numbers
Even though your mind is probably flooded with ideas or frustrations, don’t analyze the day on Sunday. There will be time to evaluate the stats on Monday. Whether positive or negative, emotions run high right after church services so put some distance between you and the church service and I think you’ll find you’re thinking more clearly to make the best decision for your church.
2. Spend time with family
After I have emptied myself out, I enjoy being around those who care the most about me to just love on me and me love them. The greatest place of comfort for me is around my family.
If I recharge my body, my mind and emotions will also be refreshed. For me rest is taking nap, there’s nothing quite like a Sunday nap, but no matter how you like to rest be intentional about recharging mentally and physically.
4. Celebrate other’s
Be an encourager. You reap what you sow. We don’t compete, we complete! Take time every Sunday afternoon/evening and send encouraging texts to other pastors, or post a positive comment on Facebook.
I want every pastor that may read this to know how valuable you are to the kingdom! You are loved and there is a calling upon your life. Don’t ever feel that you are insignificant. God has placed the greatest calling that can be given upon your life!
I love you, value you, and know that God has a great future for you!