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.
You’re the Pastor...
Church started with an embarrassingly small number of people in the room. It always starts that way. They’ll be here in a few minutes, you told yourself.
But by the time you got up to preach there were still more empty seats than full ones. Maybe more empty seats than usual. And your ‘usual’ isn’t so great to begin with.
Still, you preached your heart out. Then, after the service, you prayed for needs and you welcomed a church member back from a recent illness. You listened patiently to the same petty complaints you heard last week, promising to ‘look into it’ again. And you meant it all.
You pastored the church.
You also received sincere smiles and hugs. Someone headed home with their spiritual cup refilled – even if they forgot to thank you for it.
But today is Monday.
And Monday is hard.
...But It’s Jesus’ Church
You’re not alone.
Jesus knows what happened and didn’t happen in church yesterday.
He knows who showed up and didn’t.
But, unlike the average small church pastor, Jesus didn’t wake up this morning* depressed about the size of your church. Or mine.
Because it’s his church, not yours. Not mine.
And, somehow, even though he cares more about the church than you or I ever could, he’s not depressed by it.
He also didn’t wake up this morning high-fiving the angels about the church down the street that broke attendance records yesterday.
God doesn’t take attendance.
But he did celebrate with the angels over everyone who came to salvation. In your church or another one.
And he delights in your continued faithfulness, just as he mourns with you in your struggle to cope with yet another tough weekend.
And he’ll be with you as you prepare to do it again this week.
Faithfully, prayerfully, even tearfully.
He’s using you and the congregation you pastor.
Because, no matter how you feel or what the numbers say, Christ rewards faithfulness.
(*Note for my theologically precise friends: Of course, Jesus didn’t wake up this morning. He hasn’t had to sleep since he ascended into heaven 2,000 years ago. It’s a figure of speech.)
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