I LOVE snow. And I love the mountains.
I’m not sure what it is, but I have been completely captivated with the mountains this year. Every time I hit the road on a clear day, I’m floored by the beauty of God’s creation. I’ve tried on a number of occasions to stop my car at the best lookout point I can find and snap a few photos on my iPhone. They never do justice to what my eyes can actually see. The actual sight of the mountains refreshes me.
As a worship leader, finding refreshment is absolutely crucial to making my work week, especially Sunday, possible. Yet for some reason, I find that Saturdays and Mondays are the hardest days of the week for me. Why?
Saturday: the day before Sunday, which is the pinnacle of the week. All my work during the week leads up to this very moment, and for some reason, the emotion/energy of it all piles up on Saturday.
Monday: The day after my LONGEST day. My Sundays are typically about 14-hour work days. Granted, I love my work…but 14-hours is long, no matter what you do for a living. This makes Monday very challenging to be excited about!
When Saturday and Monday aren’t handled properly, Sunday is affected, which is not good for a worship leader. In other words, if I’m exerting too much energy on Saturday and booking myself silly with meetings on Monday – I’m pretty much dead.
Introducing: “The Sandwich Effect.”
I’m sure there are plenty of things that could be labeled “The Sandwich Effect,” but I made one up for myself (It’s about to get weird with the bread jokes…). It’s the art of making Saturday and Monday (the bread) amazing, which inevitably, helps Sunday (the meat) be amazing. In short, there are things that I often do on Saturday and Monday that help me feel rested both on Sunday and afterwards.
Saturday (Top Slice):
- Sleep in.
It’s a rare occasion that I actually sleep past a certain time during the week. It’s nice from time to time! Letting your body get the extra rest is always helpful.
- Hit the gym.
I’ve found that the hardest part of exercise is making the decision to actually do it. Just do it (like Nike). Your body will thank you, and you won’t regret it.
- Eat right.
Remember those days on the cross country team when you’d eat a good meal the night before a race? Me neither. Nevertheless, it’s the same thing here. Eating well on Saturday will carry over into Sunday and help your body function well during the day. Go protein!
- Spend time in prayer and personal worship.
Just because Sunday is a day of corporate worship doesn’t mean we should skip out on private worship. Find some time to read the word, sit in the presence of God, and ask the Holy Spirit to prepare your heart for what’s to come on Sunday.
- Do something life-giving.
That could really be anything. Like I said earlier, I love the snow. Spending time in nature and admiring God’s handiwork does it for me, especially as of late. Find something that inspires you and do that!
- Get to bed early.
Many of my friends like to make plans on Saturday nights. My wife and I love spending time with people, but have realized that Saturday night is a rough night to stay out too late. Energy for Sunday morning is too important to spend just because I’m a night owl. Get some sleep!
Monday (Bottom Slice):
Monday is equally as important, because it’s a time to reflect, recharge, and set the pace for the rest of the week.
- Avoid scheduling early meetings.
I’ve done that a few times. BAD IDEA. My brain is not even close to prepared to offer sincere counsel and/or friendship to anyone. I owe it to the people I meet with to give them my best attention. I typically don’t meet with people until the afternoon on Mondays. It works best for everyone. :)
- Read something inspiring.
I love reading blogs of people who are smarter than me in ministry. I’d like to think I know what I’m doing, but most of the time I don’t! That’s why reading materials from inspiring people is a great way to grow in your skill set, knowledge, and spiritual depth. A few of my current favorites are David Santistevan (worship blogger) and Ron Edmondson (pastoral leadership blogger).
- Drink GOOD coffee.
I realize many don’t drink coffee. That’s cool! You’re probably way less stressed than me. However, if you are a coffee addict like myself, step out of the box and skip the McStarbucks…find a new coffee shop, try a new drink, or brew some nice beans at home. It’s not that the coffee itself makes the world any better, but making an experience out of it is just fun.
- Thank God for what He did on Sunday.
Ultimately, what we do on Sunday is a reflection of what He did 2,000 years ago. Take some time to thank Jesus for His work on the cross, as well as what He did on Sunday. It’s amazing that week after week, ba-gillions of Christians gather to worship Jesus and to be transformed by the renewing of their minds – and you and I are invited to help facilitate it all. That’s something to thank Him for; something to humbly and fervently thank Him for.
It’s almost the weekend…how will you prepare on Saturday and refresh on Monday? Share your thoughts below! I could use some more ideas myself!