Adrenal Letdown

I’ve heard it said that preaching for an hour can equal the energy output of 3-4 hours worth of work. Multiply that for Pastors who preach at multiple services by the number of services they preach at each weekend.

Arch Hart, in his book, “Adrenaline & Stress”, lays out his study on the impact of adrenaline on a person’s body. He emphasizes the impact it has on Pastors in the book, as well as in many of his talks to groups of Pastors.

Over the last few years, with Arch’s help, I’ve grown to identify much of the awful after-effects of preaching as adrenal letdown. Preaching demands the use of adrenaline and I find that many Pastors either have no idea, or they completely deny, its impact. You know, we’re Superman/women/people, right? What might impact others negatively, God will protect us from! (In case you’re wondering, yes, my tongue is in my cheek as I write that!)

Arch contends that when you expend an inordinate amount of adrenaline, like we Pastors do when we preach, you are bound to experience a letdown of the adrenaline so that the system, the body, can recover and restore itself back to a normal state. There are various brain chemicals involved in the cycle, including serotonin, which can drop low as adrenaline restores, resulting in a feeling of depression at different levels.

How much time it takes to recover and what the symptoms of the recovery are can be different for everyone. For me, I find that on Monday, it’s common for me to develop a low grade headache right behind my eyes. I call it my “serotonin-low” headache. And there’s a general malaise that I often experience.

Have you identified the impact of adrenaline recovery after you preach? What are your common signs?

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