Monday, March 3, 2014


My pastor just got done preaching a sermon on worry and anxiety, yet while it wasn't his intent, I left that service upset and bubbling over with anxiety at the major announcement that he made just before we ended. Suddenly, even without knowing any of the details, my mind began to knit together a scenario that will have me looking for a new church in just a few weeks. What is even more frustrating is that the entire congregation was clapping, cheering, and applauding the news that my pastor divulged, and he was beaming a smile so wide that the room barely contained it.

The church that I attend is now two years old. Since its inception, it has held its services at 6:00 p.m.. When it was first formed, only about 20 folks signed up to attend. Now the average weekly attendance is close to 200. A 10-fold increase in two years for a church plant is off-the-charts good. However, my pastor has stated several times that he does not want to be an evening church. He has related several anecdotes about folks leaving his flock because they didn't like evening services. He uses these stories as fodder for why he wants to have Sunday morning services. However, he has never once asked his rapidly growing congregration if they are coming to his church because they actually prefer a Sunday evening service. I would raise my hand if this question were asked. There are very few churches in my area with Sunday evening services, but there are dozens that meet on Sunday morning.

This past Sunday my pastor announced that my church will soon be leaving its rented and shared facility and taking up residence in a fully equipped building on a property that was unexpectedly gifted to the church. Obviously this is an amazing story, but even through the jubilant celebration of everyone around me, all I heard was that my church would no longer be meeting on Sunday evenings. I felt completely deflated. All I could think of is that in a few more weeks when this church becomes another Sunday morning church, I will not be a part of it. It's an unsettling feeling to be part of an announcement that brings cheers from everyone in attendance but you.

Clearly I am upset because, as usual, I am making this all about me. However, I think that I am more frustrated than anything because in two years I have not made a single connection with another member of the congregration. If I didn't show up I would not be missed and I would not really miss anyone. I'm sure there is probably a more tactful and gracious way to write this post, especially as my pastor is a friend of mine and a regular reader of my blog. However, he knows me well enough to know that I sometimes need to vent and cry in order to process things and to work my way through my own personal worry-laden mine field. Now if I could only remember what he said about dealing with worry.