Since I have been in ministry, or rather leading a local church, I’ve experienced the Monday blues from time to time. For many pastors this is a common occurrence. It could be the Elijah moment we all face. Essentially, we pour ourselves out for the glory of God and then we face the spiritual low after. Yet, if I am honest, this is not always the case. That is not to say we don’t pour ourselves out for the glory God, face spiritual warfare, etc, but what if our Monday morning blues were rooted in something different.
As I was writing this article, I paused and scrolled though my Twitter feed and saw this tweet from Pastor Dean Inserra of City Church in Tallahassee: “Ever noticed that modern day ‘God showed up this morning’ (in a Sunday church context), is usually tied to a certain style, sound, and talent? Makes it reserved for big budgets and big churches.”
In the words of Voddie Bachum, “If you can’t say amen, say ouch.”
The church I was a part of for several years, had it all; music, graphics, lights and of course, people. When we first started our church plant, we had a guy on a guitar, preaching, and prayer. There were many Sundays where I felt we were lacking. As if our worship to the Lord wasn’t sufficient enough. I remember one Sunday a young lady that was part of our launch team asked, “When are we going to have church?” The entire time I thought we were. People were coming to faith in Christ, baptisms were taking place, communion, the Word was being preached, and we were doing outreach. Sadly, I knew what she meant: “At what point will the music be sufficient enough for me to feel engaged enough that I have met God?” Now, I am not against great music, graphics and other methods we use to reach people, but this isn’t the measuring mark of God working in our churches.
Often our expectations of what our church should be is based on what we see in the culture and magazines rather than in the Word of God. In fact, many times God is working in mighty ways around us, but because He isn’t working in the way we desire, we often feel we are failing.
One Sunday, we had one of those low attendance days. As I stood before the small crowd of folks, every bit of encouragement or zeal I had felt as if it was seeping straight from my heart and out through my toes. In that moment, I had a choice to make. Would I proclaim the good news of the King of universe to this small crowd, then as a congregational sing loud and boldly to His name? Or would I miss how God was moving at this moment? The truth is, not only was He with us as we gathered together, but He would continue to move in our hearts and lives after we departed from one another!
What we reach people with is what we will have to keep them with. So, a church that sells themselves as “An amazing, life changing community, where every week your mind will be blown, God will move and you will walk away floating on cloud nine” sure better deliver on that promise each and every Sunday. The problem with that is, God actually exists outside of Sundays. When believers gather over coffee to pray and open the Word of God, He is moving. When believers are at home crying out to God, He is moving. When the local body gathers to sing songs of praise, give generously, and hear the preaching of the word, He is moving. Even if you don’t have the best music or graphics, God is at work in your local church. In fact, God hasn’t called you to put on a show anyway. Why not focus on what you can do well? Sing songs to the risen King, proclaim his finished work, and love those who join you for worship.
Instead of having the Monday morning blues, focus your eyes on Jesus and what He is doing in your midst:
- The young man that accepted Jesus and is now walking with the Lord.
- The older woman whose understanding of Scripture is growing deeper and is sharing the gospel with her grandchildren.
- The babies that are in your nursery and being loved on while their parents hear the Word of God.
- The community outreach where men and women encountered the love of Jesus through the hands and feet of His people.
You ask whether God working in your church? Well, look around not just on Sundays, but in the lives of your people, and you may just see how much He is.