Avoiding the Post-Christmas Slump

You did it! You survived the worship leader’s busiest season of the year. Most of us work our tails off throughout November and December preparing for special events and additional services. By the time New Years’ arrives, many of us are exhausted and ready for a break.

But there’s just one problem: you still have to lead worship on Sunday. And the Sunday after that, and the Sunday after that. Next thing you know, Easter will be right around the corner and it’s back to the whirlwind.

If you’re not prepared for it, the first few weeks of January can easily turn into a post-Christmas slump. Many are tempted to “phone it in” for the first part of the month, but if the church’s leaders are marked by fatigue or a lack of passion, we fall short of our calling to serve the body of Christ. And trust me, your congregation can tell when you’re going through the motions!

It should go without saying that every time we gather to worship God is important. He deserves our best not only on Christmas, but every day of the year. So if you’re feeling the Boxing Day blues, here are a few ideas to help you ward them off:

SPEND TIME IN THE WORD
If you’re like me, when things start to get busy, one of the first things you put on the backburner is spending time in the Word. It’s easy to justify: with all the extra work required of us this time of year, we’re spending plenty of time reading Scripture! But reading for work and reading for spiritual nourishment are two different things.

If you’ve fallen off in recent weeks, now is the perfect time to get back on track. Spiritual fatigue is far more perilous than physical fatigue, so give your devotional habits extra attention this month.

“Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” – Deuteronomy 8:3

GIVE YOUR TEAM A BREAK
On the administrative side of things, try giving your team a break! Working with a cranky worship team can add to the post-Christmas snowball effect. Chances are, you’re not the only one who went over-and-above for your church last month. Reward your musicians with a week off.

For the last several years, I’ve led a solo acoustic set on the first Sunday of January. Not only does this give my team a break, but it gives our church an opportunity to hear each other sing God’s praises in a special way. I used to dread this Sunday every year, but now I look forward to it.

Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth! – Psalm 96:1

TAKE TIME OFF
Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is take a Sunday off. Even the most capable worship leaders get tired, so make sure you’re evaluating your spiritual health on a regular basis. Occasionally, our leadership suffers not because we don’t plan well or because our hearts aren’t in it, but because we’re tired!

While taking a week off may not be possible for you right now, try to carve out some additional time for rest in the coming weeks. Sabbath is one of the most important practices for pastors; you can’t serve well if you’re constantly running on empty. And consider planning some downtime for after Christmas next year, especially if you’re feeling extra ragged right now.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” – Mark 2:27

How are you handling the post-Christmas season? What works for you? Do you have any traditions or special methods of combatting malaise in the new year? Let us know in the comments!

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