This should be the shortest blog post I’ve ever written. Because the answer to the question posed in the title takes just three words. I Don’t Know
Prayer may be the most overlooked aspect of Christian life and pastoral ministry. Even though we know it’s the most important.
We need to become better pray-ers. But how?
Start with prayers God has already said he’ll answer.
For pastors, church ministry is like living within the movie of your life. It may shift radically from tragedy to comedy and back again (with the occasional musical thrown in) but it’s constantly moving and changing.
When we go home, we give our spouse a snapshot of the day. If the day ended on a sour note, that might be the only thing we tell them. So, while the day was a movie to us, it’s a snapshot to our spouse – the snapshot we choose to give them.
When we go to church the next day, the movie keeps going. And, quite often, the bad moment from the previous day is forgotten. But the snapshot you gave your spouse sits in their head and heart, growing bigger.
We need to be more careful about the snapshots we bring home. What we give them lasts longer than we realize.
We’ve invested a lot into the art and science of church growth in the last 50 years.
It makes me wonder. After such a massive output of time, energy, research and money, have we become like the proverbial man with a hammer who sees everything as a nail? Is that why church growth is always the go-to answer for every challenge? Because we can’t afford for it not to be?
Has church growth become a solution looking for a problem?
Was yesterday a tough Sunday, pastor?
You did everything you know to do.
You prepared, prayed and studied all week long.
A couple days ahead of time, you got in touch with volunteers to remind them this was their Sunday to teach, sing, usher, and so on.
You arrived early, unlocked the doors, made sure everything was clean, and turned on the heat, lights and sound.
But at least one volunteer didn’t show up. No reason. Just didn’t.
You scrambled to find someone to cover for them. But that position stayed empty. Again.
Still, you battled through.