The Dreaded PMS- Post Ministry/Mission Syndrome

How to survive "the blues" after an intense ministry time.


We often think of stress as all bad.  When one says, “I’m stressed” it normally points to a looming exam, job conflict, or time crunch.  That kind of stress is the bad kind of stress.  But there is a stress that comes from good and exciting and fruitful times, like a wonderful mission trip.  Bad stress is called distress and good stress is called eustress, another name for good stress is adrenaline.  I have written a short review on a book that changed the way I think about adrenaline and stress here.  Some people live on adrenaline.  They thrive on it and it is really good and keeps us productive for a time.  That is why after an intense time at work it is good to take a break.  After a long time of ministry it is good to just stop and relax and reflect.  Many people talk about having the blues after a long trip such as a mission trip where one is thrust out of comfort zones, living in close quarters, seeking God with intensity.  The blues are a gift of God.

The truth is our bodies don’t really know the difference between good stress and bad stress.  If not dealt with properly, over a long period of time, good or bad stress may lead to lack of focus, lower immunity for blocking simple sicknesses, aches and pains and more stress.  There are ways to cope:

  • Eat a good diet
  • Exercise frequently
  • Back off from the stressor (know your stress triggers)
  • Do something absolutely different for a break
  • Take a nap or simply try and relax
  • Don’t self-medicate
  • Pursue God through prayer, reading the Bible, and journaling.  Other great stress reducers are silence, solitude and prayer walking.

New Yorkers instinctively know that being with people, around people, all the noises and commotion and confusion will eventually lead to stress.  That is why they love Central Park.




Lead Pastor 290 Community Church

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4 thoughts on “The Dreaded PMS- Post Ministry/Mission Syndrome

  1. Hmmm…PMS? Didn’t I teach you that? Actually my wife invented the term after putting up with my gnarliness after a road trip. Blessings on your ministry.

    • I am sure I learned that from you. I haven’t stopped using it either. Then I read the Hart book and it caused me to really back off from doing anything “excited” on my day off. I also learned the true blessing of the “blues” they are from God. I took the class with Dr. Mckechnie for my Doctoral course work and it became a top 5 read of all time for me.

  2. This is funny, because I clicked on your blog today before you posted and I thought…”he needs to do a post about PMS because I’m sure he’s feeling it.”
    Then, not 10 minutes later, I get an email from when you posted! Nice. We have done a lot of ministry together and know the cycles of that ministry. May you and the others on the team be able to rest in the peace of Christ today, being strengthened for continued ministry in the Cypress area!

    • the only thing I forgot to mention was to vacuum the living room and wash their own clothes. Of course all of my clothes are washed and are in the process of getting put away and the house is getting cleaned by the entire team.