Children's Ministry, Encouragement

Anyone else out there suffer from “Sunday Night Slump?”

Anyone else out there suffer from “Sunday Night Slump?

I don’t know about you, but Sunday mornings are amazing. I’m smiling, I’m greeting, I’m teaching, I’m crackin’ corny jokes with the kids, things are good. I’m high on Ministry Mountain, I suppose.

But, by Sunday night? After teaching two sessions in the morning and helping with the third in the evening, I am feeling burned out, crashed out, and D-O-N-E.

By the time I drag myself home, I am thinking of every little tiny thing that went wrong that day—things someone criticized (or didn’t, but I took it that way), problems I have to deal with, kids (and adults) who just don’t seem to be getting it, and worst of all stuff I royally messed up!

I think Ken may be suffering from “Sunday Night Slump.”

That’s about when the “Sunday Night Slump” peaks, I suppose. I think about quitting about 500 million times, wanting to just come and teach and hang with the kids, but NOT be in charge, NOT be the one who has to deal with the problems, NOT be the one who feels the weight of all that has gone wrong and all that needs fixed in the ministry. Not to feel the weight of the enormous responsibility that comes with sharing the amazing Gospel with children.

Can anyone else relate? I’m thinking I am definitely not alone on this.

This past weekend was my 15th work-a-versary. Fifteen x 52 Sundays, give or take, is a lot of slump suffering, but I am just starting to see how to get out of the “Sunday Night Slump”. (Maybe I’m a slow learner, but, hey, I am happy to be taught!)

I will tell you, so that you don’t have to suffer from this annoying ailment.

Ya know what it is? The truth of God’s Word is what I need to lean on, not my feelings. My feelings (good or bad) cannot always be trusted, but God’s Word can and, man, it’s good.

Do you know what God’s Word says?

It says I can cast my burdens on Him when I am weary and He will carry them for me.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus never intends for us to go it on our own. If I am feeling weighted down, there’s a decent chance I am trying to deal with all of my burdens myself and, I just do not have to do that. Jesus has invited me, has invited all of us, to let Him carry them. He is strong and capable and He wants to give us a light burden, not a heavy one.

It says that in my weakness He can make me strong.

“Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I’m glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Do you have a “thorn in the flesh.” You don’t have to share the face that just popped into your head (ha ha!), but really, we all have something (or someone) that seems to cause a persistent problem in our ministry, don’t we?

Some things are just hard to deal with. They bring us to our knees, but on our knees, at the end of our own strength, is a wonderful place to be, because it is there that we tend to seek and accept God’s powerful strength.

Oh that I would learn to seek it first, and constantly, so I would not get to that state of exhaustion. I am still learning that lesson.

It says that His Holy, Precious, and amazing Word does not fall void.

“So my word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.” Isaiah 55:11

Much of my Sunday Night Slump seems to stem from the fact that I just don’t see progress with the kids at church or my own kids sometimes. But, here’s where we can cling to the promise of God’s Word again. If we are teaching it then it will not return empty of “void” as the King James says.

God’s Word will accomplish what it has set out to do and if we are teaching its truth it will do amazing things in the lives, hearts and souls of these precious children.

We may not see it day by day or even week by week, but I can bet we can see it month by month and year by year. It is sort of like the tide, it comes in a bit, then it goes out, then comes in a bit more, then goes out again. But, the tide will continue to rise, just as these children will continue to move forward with their personal walks with Jesus.

God’s Word does that, we don’t do that His amazing Bible does that. Teach It, study It, share It with them and help them to fall in love with It and It will accomplish what God pleases.

How amazing is that?

In the end (and the beginning and everything in between) when we are serving God it is His ministry, not ours, and we are not meant to do it in our own strength, we are meant to be filled with His.

The above Scriptures and many, many more attest to that. God’s Word is powerful. It is more powerful than my emotions, and yours. It is more powerful than my discouragement and it is definitely more powerful than “Sunday Night Slump.”

I hope that if you suffer from the dreaded ailment that you will take time to read the scriptures I’ve shared above multiple times and let them sink into your mind and soul. Accept, no embrace, the truth of them.

It is an AMAZING cure for the “Sunday Night Slump.” Trust me, I know!

Dearest Jesus,
We want to serve You faithfully, but, Lord, we get so tired, so weary. It seems like the weight of ministry is too heavy to bear. But, thank You Lord that You want to carry our burdens for us. That You do not intend for us to serve in our own strength. Oh Lord, please strengthen us. Give us the wisdom to come to you before we serve and while we are serving so we can serve in Your strength, not our own. Thank You so much that Your strength is perfect when ours is gone. Thank You for the opportunity to serve. Bless these precious children we teach to know You personally and grown in their personal faith. Thank You for the privilege of being a small part of them knowing You. Amen.

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