Below is an excerpt from a lengthier interview with John Piper in which he addresses the issue of one in ministry feeling exhausted and needing to recharge:
". . . 1. I would begin by making it my daily prayer that God would keep me back from ministry-ruining, marriage-ruining, soul-ruining sin in my leisure. Jesus did not teach us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation” for nothing (Matthew 6:13). God keeps the hearts and marriages and ministries of those who cry out daily to be kept.
2. I would say put your own personal Bible reading and meditation and memory work and your own soul feeding with Bible-saturated literature, put that first in the day, not at the end of the day when you are tired. Take your best times of the day with your best energy and feed your soul. Worship the Lord over his Word with your best energy, not the dregs at the end of the day. Any pastor who says “I work so hard at the demands of the church ministry that I don’t have energy for feeding my own soul through Scripture and Scripture-saturated books,” has got his day backward.
If there are parts of the day with much energy and parts with little energy, then let one of the parts with much energy be given to what is absolutely indispensible: communion with God in his word for the sake of seeing and savoring the King of heaven. Because if this personal joy, personal fellowship, personal hope languishes, everything languishes — and worse than languages usually. What our people need from us more than anything is the aroma of Christ.
The world is filled with managerial experts in ministry. They create seasons of excitement in the life of the church, but they are shallow. And sooner or later, the human soul grows weary of such technical expertise. You have to keep propping it up with more smoke-and-mirrors and sound and light and everything external. You have to keep propping it up. It is so superficial. And the soul longs for a deep man of God. This is what people long for: a deep man of God. Have you been with God? Come show me that you have been with God. A man of the word, a man of substance who has gone deep with eternal things and comes up out of the valley laden with nourishing fruit for his people. This is only possible if we give the first priority to knowing God, not working for God. So, that is my second suggestion. Reverse the order of your days. Give your best energy to going deep with God. Your people will not begrudge being in second place. Oh, they will love it.
3. And the third thing I would say is this. In the evening when your work is done or on your day off.. . .
. . . We must be absolutely honest with our hearts here. Come on, pastors. We must be honest with our hearts here. Does this video, does this TV show which everybody is watching — of course they are — does this video game leave us refined and intensified in our capacities to revel in the unsearchable riches of Christ in the Scriptures? I fear that for many pastors the answer would be no. And he just doesn’t care. He is tired. I believe we live in a day where immersion in popular culture with all of its God-ignoring, sin-enjoying, pride-exalting assumptions is not only assumed to be harmless, but assumed to be necessary. Both of those assumptions are wrong — deadly wrong.
So, let me see if I can give a few pointers for the kinds of things a pastor or for that matter anybody might do when he feels mentally spent..."
Full audio inteview and transcript: