Monday, November 26, 2007

So, How was Church? A Monday morning question.

Monday routine for most pastors is probably pretty much the same; start a bit slower after a long weekend, grab a longer cup of coffee (or tea) as you read the paper, check the emails, and scan favorite blog sites. I usually get several consistent emails from church leaders, the financial secretary, various staff people updating me on events and activities over the weekend.
So, How was Church? is a bit of a complicated question. Which church are you asking about: the number of children who came forward for the story at the steps? the quality of the sermon (you're asking me??), the calibre of discussion at the Sunday School, and for which ages? the integration of the music with the theme,the size of the offering, the quality of the power-point, the tastiness of the treats, the typo's in the bulletin, the heat or coolness of the building, and the number of people in attendance....and which ones are totally new to the church and which ones have been missing for too long?
All these variables go into the evaluative stew in my head as I think about the weekend. In some corridors the church was at its very best on Sunday. And in other areas we really slipped up and dropped the ball. The key challenge for me is to get high enough to see the whole process. The next challenge for me as a leader of staff and lay-leaders is to get their perspective lifted to also see the whole enterprise of the church. This cannot be an attempt to minimze problem issues and devolve into some fuzzy-minded optimism. That's a way of avoiding real issues that need to be faced. But it is an approach to problem-solving and evaluating that is not reactive and strident. Too many criticisms come in decibels inappropriate for their level of significance and need to be moderated and managed. Screaming critics rarely bring solutions, just reactions.
So, again, how was church?


At 11:32 AM , Blogger Beth B said...

Not all critics scream. Sometimes I think it would be easier if they did! But what I really appreciate is the person who loves the truth, and speaks the it in love...

At 1:41 PM , Blogger kent said...

One of the best reasons to work Monday is the to be able to work out all those questions - great list by the way - on company time. You are right, in some areas the church rocks, in others we can't run a play with out coughing up the ball.

I always assume that the typos in the bulletin give those restless folk something to do during the service.

At 7:53 AM , Blogger preacherman said...

I think we as all ministers need to ask ourselves this question. It is the only way we can imporve the next week and weeks ahead. We need to be open and honest with ourselves did we do the best we could have done. In what areas could we have done better. What area's need improving. I think this will please not only those who come but God Almighty. Great post brother. I have added your blog to my list of favorites because I like the way you make people think. I like that in blogs. When I feel like it I will read and add to the discussion on your blog. I am suffering from GBS so on those good days I spend time with family; study and work on sermons, read blogs and add to the discussions on the ones I like. Thanks again.
May God bless you and your ministry abundantly.
In Him,
Kinney Mabry,

At 9:40 AM , Blogger mike said...

Not to stir the pot or hijack your blog but I've struggled with this for years & would like to hear the thoughts of others. In my neck of the woods -- South Texas, small town, denominational pastor -- that question too often seems to me to reek of competition & other negative vibes -- nickels & noses seem to count most. I've really struggled with the division of sacred & secular that, again, in my struggling opinion, is in some part due to over emphasis/wrongful emphasis on the Sunday morning service. If following Christ is a lifestyle/relationship, should we not measure there to see "how church was?" Should we not come together for corporate worship as an outflow of our what has happened in the week before and leave corporate worship overflowing into the coming week? How can we measure "how was church" by what is taking place in the lives/relationships of those we serve? PLease remember, I'm not trying to be critical of seeking to provide excellence on Sunday mornings, just seeking to be the best shepherd/servant I can.


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