Every Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday for a pastor. On most weekends, God sends pre-Christians to services who must hear an accurate, relevant, practical message from a passionate pastor. Plus, the people of God long to hear an on-fire man of God mobilize them toward maturity. Making more and better disciples through Sunday's prayer, teaching, fellowship, and outreach means that pastors must be playing their "A" game each and every week.
Here are 6 Saturday habits that will elevate your Sunday service:
1. Take a nap. Being well-rested will give you the clarity of thought and the energy needed for the demands of whole-hearted preaching and ministry engagement.
2. Have extra conversation with your spouse and extra play with your kids. The demands of Sundays on pastors means that you are less available for their families on the Lord's Day. Therefore, fill your family's tanks by meeting your family's emotional needs on Saturday. Do that and they won't be running on relational fumes on Sundays. And you won't be distracted from your ministry because of guilt for neglecting the ones who are your most important VIPs. Invest in your family deeply on Saturdays.
3. Read and/or do something fun. A well-rounded pastor is a more effective and more interesting pastor. Do something fun. Learn something new. Go somewhere different. Your people will benefit if you are not one-dimensional. (A side benefit will be that you might gain perspective and insight to help you illustrate your message.)
4. Exercise. Physical activity relieves stress. After all, you don't want to "go off" on that extra-grace-required person on Sunday, do you? Working out routinely also will give you the on-going stamina needed for long-term effectiveness and finishing well. Put down the iPad, get off the couch, and pick up some weights. Take a walk. Do something. Get busy for at least 30 minutes.
5. Clean up some clutter. Don't go crazy here. Just 15 minutes or so. A well-organized (or at least better-organized) room, nightstand, kitchen, family room, or office will help you relax. Order in one area of life affects order in other areas. You will feel better about yourself. And you'll probably find something to give away to someone who needs it more than you. You'll get some points with your spouse, too!
6. Go to bed early. This will help you get up early on Sunday morning so you won't have to rush before services. Before you go to sleep, you can review your notes and pray for Sunday's message. Your people deserve a pastor who's focused on the Lord and His message to them, not a pastor who has a hang-over from watching Saturday Night Live!
The title for this post says that these are 6 seemingly non-spiritual Saturday habits. They may seem non-spiritual but they are exceedingly spiritual. They are part of the "whatevers" of scripture.
"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (Colossians 3:17). "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men" (Colossians 3:23). "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (I Corinthians 10:31). "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might" (Ecclesiastes 9:10a). These "whatever" verses teach us that everything - even your Saturday non-sermonic activity - is really spiritual.
So, pastors, make your Saturday "whatevers" count for the Lord for your Sundays. You will be glad you did. And so will your people.
Question: What Saturday habits help you get ready for Sunday's ministry?