Yesterday was very powerful, very wet, and in some ways very discouraging. As for my musings …
-We experienced another powerful time of worship in my 10:30 church. In the music, the prayers and through the Word. This series has spoken directly and clearly to many people and the spirit in the entire worship service has been outstanding for the past 3 weeks.
-We had a few inches of rain fall over the weekend. There was standing water all around and that includes inside many buildings. People were hovering around their sump pumps to make sure they kept functioning. Others were hauling water out of basements. Others were placing buckets in their attics to keep leaks from coming through their ceilings. The weather, and the threat of severe weather hurt the attendance at both churches.
-We had a workday at my 10:30 church on Saturday and the rain limited our activities to indoor projects and prevented some from attending. We got a lot of good things accomplished. Also, as is the case on many days like Saturday, the best part of the day was the interaction of people working together.
-Saturday afternoon my wife and I went to watch a couple of kids from our church wrestle in a local tournament. It was fun to watch them and to see the huge smiles on their faces when they saw us. It was great to interact with some of their family members.
-I am loving the discussions taking place in my discipleship group that meets on Wednesdays. This group is on what we call the Third Step and it is the final part of our formal training. From here, they will be leading others in this same process. Their desire to apply what they are discovering is very encouraging. I love that they prepare before we gather and that they are so open when they share. Leading this group is a highlight for me each week.
-Last week was the second of 12 classes on Fatherhood that I am helping lead at the prison located in our community. It is turning into something special. The desire of these men to learn and do better is humbling. To see, and hear, their appreciation is very moving.
-Looking at my calendar, and to do list for the next 3 weeks made me weary. This is a very full stretch of time for me.
-Attendance is not the goal for a pastor or church. However, when attendance plateaus it is discouraging. Both of my churches have plateaued, or even slipped a little, in the past 4 months. There are so many people around us that don’t know Jesus as their personal Savior and yet we are not reaching them. That hurts my heart. It increases my prayer burden and I am seeking answers to see that we reach more and more people for Christ. I am weary of the pat excuses of weather, illness, etc … for why people are not attending. At some point, I must look in the mirror and own my part.
-In just over 3 weeks my wife and I are getting away for a vacation. To say that we are looking forward to it would be a massive understatement. This one has been planned for a few months and now it is almost here.
-I just got word this past week that the church my Dad was pastoring when I was born has been torn down. Unfortunately, it was not because the church has grown and needed to expand or relocate. I had a moment of sadness when I got that news.
Here’s hoping that your list of tasks for this week include some time to refresh.