Sunday, December 6, 2009

The ups and downs of ministry

OK … this morning was by all standards a wonderful worship experience … no major snafus in the liturgy, wonderfully prepared music which coordinated perfectly with the text from Mark … a voice cries out, prepare ye the way of the Lord. The sermon was a take on the importance of each voice preparing the way of the Lord in our lives, families and in the community. The sermon was complete with its own unexpected sermon illustration as a newborn voice erupted and interrupted our perfectly planned worship service thus illustrating that it is possible for ONE VOICE to make a difference.

All in all, about as good as it gets in a small congregation.

Left the church feeling pretty good about things here in my neck of the woods.

Lots of warm fuzzies following at the annual church luncheon, including a surprise present from a local funeral director and his wife, who is also our toddler room coordinator.

But, by 4 p.m., the voices started sounding distinctly less supportive beginning with a phone call from someone who hadn’t attended church services, but telling me that she was looking for a PREACHER.  You know someone who doesn’t preach so closely to scripture … you know someone who sounds like the preachers of my youth … hmmm….. do you really mean you’d like a preacher like those preachers who made your grandmother uncomfortable attending because she was divorced so she sent your mother alone to church … that’s what you said … yes, I realize you are medicated. I PREACH every Sunday, but no, I don’t preach those sermons. Sorry! I also don’t preach television evangelist sermons – sorry again!

Then a random email in response to one I had written earlier … note to self … people really don’t want any advice they just seek affirmation of the decisions they’ve already made. GOT IT!

I do not like roller coasters – not the mechanical ones or the emotional ones … I think I’ll be listening to my veteran pastor, husband’s advice – do not believe anything you hear before or after church on Sundays. If they remember it six weeks later, it was a good sermon. If it’s negative, it can wait to Monday – do not answer the phone or read emails on Sundays.


  1. I agree about the don't listen. Put fingers in ears, and chant "lalalalalalaaaaa, I can't hear you!"

  2. Sunday emails are of the devil, in my opinion. I have also stopped reading them--they're never helpful. sigh. It sounds like you are doing the work you need to be doing, and people will always shout "CHANGE BACK!"....but stay strong, the Spirit has your back (as another RGBP says).