Most people look forward to the weekend and loathe when Monday comes around. However, for Matt Emerzian, Mondays are the best days because they have become an intentional day of service. Although, that wasn’t always the case for Emerzian. He worked for years in the entertainment music industry where alcohol, smoking and partying often followed a hard day of work. Unfortunately, during those party years, Emerzian Mondays were filled with anxiety and suicidal thoughts. But his journey eventually led him to start a non-profit organization that fueled a movement to include everyone. Risen talked with Emezian five years ago about how everyone can make a difference and his battle with chronic anxiety.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
Emerzian shares how he offers 52 ways to make a difference in his book and the feedback he has received.
“We wrote the book with the idea that it’s for everyone. You matter. You have a purpose and you can have a positive impact on the world. We got a call from a program that deals with convicted felons and we started using the book with men and women who were literally in handcuffs and chains. We shared this idea with them that they still matter. A man stood up and said, ‘No one ever told me that I mattered in life. That’s why I am where I am today.’ And he started crying…about a month after the book came out, I receive an e-mail from a 24-year-old single mother driving in Palm Springs. She saw a car pulled over on the side of the road with a woman hanging out of the window. She decided to pull over to see if the woman was having car trouble. It turns out the woman was there to commit suicide. The woman who wrote me the e-mail told me that if it wasn’t for the book, Every Monday Matters, she would never have pulled over. I knew there was something here. It was my God-moment to make Every Monday Matters my new mission.”
“Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.” Titus 3:14
Emerzian opens up about how he dealt with his chronic anxiety.
“My parents ended up moving in with me. I was 32 years old at the time, but I needed help to get through my day. My mom’s best friend referred a therapist to me in Huntington Beach. One of the first times I was with her she gave me a book called “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. She said, ‘I want you to read the first sentence of the book,’ which says, ‘It’s not about you.’ She said, ‘This is going to be the motto for your recovery and until you understand that it’s not about you, you’re never going to feel better.’ I didn’t understand that concept at all because I worked in a very narcissistic business, so what could I do? The therapist said, ‘This Saturday, I want you to go out and feed the homeless.’ The next Saturday she told me to pick up litter on the streets and the next Saturday to read to elderly people. Over time, all these things started changing my heart and I remember realizing one day that this was my favorite part of the week…The therapist suggested I learn why it’s not about me and challenged me to go to church. I was freaked out. This bass player was playing though and he was amazing. You could look at him and think, ‘This guy is cool.’ He had his eyes closed and he played unbelievably. He didn’t think about what a single soul thought about him. He was led by the [Holy] Spirit. In that moment I knew that I wanted that. I honestly didn’t even know what that meant at the time, but as I served on local missions, I came to understand a relationship I had with Christ. I truly understand that we are at our best when serving others.”
Make your Mondays matter. Start with committing one day a week. It doesn’t have to be Monday if that doesn’t work with your schedule. It can be for a couple of hours or a simple act of service. Try different outreach opportunities or ministries to find one that is a good fit for you. Grab a friend or ask members from your small group to go with you. Pray and ask God to direct you to opportunities or people to serve.
Be a catalyst. Rather than complain about the lack of ministries or programs at your church, help be a part of the solution. It can be something as simple as volunteering in an existing ministry, sharing your ideas with church leaders, or even start a new ministry at the church. Pray and ask God for direction on where to plug in and how you can use your gifts and talents to serve the body of Christ. Take those complaints and turn them into a solution.
Remember it is not about you. Take time this week to pray and reflect on your perspective and attitude. Read through the New Testament and look at the ministry of Jesus and how his life was not about himself. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify areas or things in your life that might need to change. You can even ask a trusted friend or small group member to hold you accountable and give you feedback.
To read our entire interview with Matt Emerzian, click here.