Post Easter Blues
It is a day that has forever changed the world - The resurrection of Christ Jesus from the dead. It is a day marked with amazing fanfare and excitement. It is a day that is preceded by a season of reflection and preparation. It is a day that follows a week of intense emotions from Palm Sunday's high to Good Friday's depths. It is a day that even has its own cheer: "Christ has risen!!!!! He has risen indeed, Alleluia!!!!" and even its own punctuation rules.
If you are a pastor, you might be familiar with the feeling of exhaustion and emptiness that comes after Easter Sunday. You have spent weeks preparing for the most important celebration of the Christian faith, preaching powerful messages, leading worship services, organizing events, and ministering to your congregation. You have poured out your heart and soul into making Easter a meaningful and memorable experience for everyone.
But then, when it's all over, you feel like you have nothing left. You are drained physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You wonder if your efforts made any difference at all. You struggle to find motivation and joy in your ministry. You might even question your calling and your relationship with God.
This is what some call the "post-Easter blues", and it's more common than you think. According to a survey by LifeWay Research, 64% of pastors say they experience some form of discouragement or depression after Easter. And it's not just pastors who feel this way. Many church members and staff also experience a letdown after the high of Easter.
For me, especially now as a Pastor, Easter ushers in a hard week. I, along with many other Pastors I know, find it a week of low energy and mixed feelings. As someone who deals with Chronic depression, I know these days are coming, and I learn to plan for them. I save some very special "Post Easter Music" to fill my office with in the days that follow and deliberate activities that I know will keep me busy.
So why do pastors suffer from post-Easter blues? And what can they do to overcome them?
There are several possible reasons why pastors feel depressed after Easter. Here are some of them:
They have unrealistic expectations. Some pastors might think that Easter will greatly increase attendance, conversions, baptisms, giving, or spiritual growth. They might hope that Easter will revive their church or their ministry. But when these expectations are not met, they feel disappointed and discouraged.
They compare themselves to others. Some pastors might look at how other churches or pastors celebrated Easter and feel inadequate or inferior. They might think that they did not do enough or that they did not do it well enough. They might feel envious or insecure about their own ministry.
They neglect their own needs. Some pastors might put so much focus on serving others that they forget to take care of themselves. They might skip meals, sleep, exercise, pray, or spend less time with their family and friends. They might ignore their own physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
They face criticism or conflict. Some pastors might encounter negative feedback or opposition from their congregation or staff after Easter. They might hear complaints about the music, the sermon, the decorations, the parking, or anything else. They might face resistance or hostility from people who disagree with their vision or methods.
They experience a spiritual attack. Some pastors might face increased spiritual warfare after Easter. They might feel attacked by the enemy in various ways: temptations, doubts, fears, lies, accusations, etc. They might feel distant from God or lose sight of their purpose.
These are just some of the possible causes of post-Easter blues for pastors. But whatever the reason, there is hope and help for those who suffer from them.
Here are some practical steps that pastors can take to overcome post-Easter blues:
Celebrate what God has done. Instead of focusing on what did not happen or what went wrong, focus on what God did through your ministry during Easter. Thank Him for every person who heard the gospel, every life that was changed, and every blessing that was received. Share testimonies and stories of how God worked in your church and community.
Rest and recharge. After a busy season of ministry, you need to take time to rest and recharge your batteries. Take a day off or a vacation if possible. Sleep well, eat well, and exercise well. Do something that refreshes you and brings you joy: read a book, watch a movie, play a game, go for a walk, etc.
Connect with God and others. Don't isolate yourself or neglect your relationship with God and others. Spend time in prayer and worship daily. Read God's word and meditate on His promises. Seek His guidance and direction for your next steps. Reach out to your family and friends for support and encouragement. Talk to someone who understands what you are going through a mentor, a counselor, a fellow pastor, etc.
Remember your calling and identity. Don't let your feelings define you or your ministry. Remember who you are in Christ: a beloved child of God, a chosen servant of God, a gifted leader of God's people. Remember why you do what you do: because God has called you and equipped you to proclaim His good news and make disciples of all nations.
Keep moving forward in faith. Don't let post-Easter blues stop you from fulfilling your mission and vision as a pastor. Keep moving forward in faith and obedience to God's will for your life
Today I am listening to "Resurrection Letters, Vol.1" by Andrew Peterson I am an especially big fan of "His Heart Beats" and "Risen Indeed"
There are a couple of moments in time when I would have loved to have been physically present. The first is the moment that God stooped down low to the man that he had formed out of the dust of the earth and breathed into him the breath of life. To see the color coming into Adam's form and to see Adam take his first breath, to watch the body come to life. Another of those times is when Jesus' dead and lifeless body returned to life. To see the look at Satan's face as he marched into Hell - Victorious over Sin and Death! No sting of death remains.
Here is some more great Easter Music - the Resurrection Letters Anthology. We really need more Easter Music!
It should be a thing like Christmas Music. Talk about a reason to sing and rejoice!
Take some time this week and pray for your Pastor and Church Staff - they are all coming down from the Mountain of Easter, and life in the valley keeps moving forward.
Time to continue work on the Second Sunday of Easter - for me, this year it's all about 1 Peter - The Living Hope! I can identify with Peter; he was not the fastest of the disciples; just ask John. He may have arrived at the tomb second, but that didn't stop him from being the first inside. May your week be filled with the Joy of Easter Morning and the living hope of Christ!