It’s nice to be able to have a Sunday off every once in a while. Being able to worship with my family in my home church is always a blessing. Today I get to enjoy the day with my wife and beautiful baby boy. This is my last Sunday off all year basically. Whewww….I hope I don’t get sick! I actually have a mild cold today, so it works out perfect that I don’t have to sing today!!
What I wanted to write about today is something I get asked about all the time. People always ask, “Is it hard being away from your home church every Sunday and having to worship somewhere else week after week?” My answer is usually always the same. “Yes and No.” Every once in a while I’ll sing at a conference and get to share my heart with music ministers and other church ministers. What I always tell them is to not see your Sunday morning as your only worship time. Although it is a great time to worship, just don’t feel like that should be the only time you worship. I say that because, for me, it is very hard to be focused on a Sunday morning when I’m singing. I’m always thinking about the schedule of the morning or when I’m singing next. Mostly I’m praying that the person putting the words on the back screen doesn’t fall asleep. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve had to re-write a song on stage because the screen in the back didn’t change. Although I always have the songs memorized, when you’re used to seeing the words on the screen you just become dependent on it for that song…ha.
As I was saying, though, it is very hard to really just sit back on a Sunday morning and just soak it all in. I get caught up in all the details and schedule of the service. I think that a lot of ministers become burnt out because of this reason. Whether we like to think of it this way or not, our ministries are also our jobs. Do you think you could worship while sitting in a board room meeting at your job? Probably not. That’s kind of how it is for us. We can sometimes get caught up in thinking that because we are at church on Sunday, that we are getting our worship service in for the week. I think that can’t be further from the truth. Just like me thinking of the songs I’ll be singing after the offertory, pastors are thinking of making sure they don’t stumble over their words, or that they don’t go over their sermon time, or that they don’t embarrass their teenage daughter with a funny family memory they plan on telling. So, how do we make sure we don’t get burned out? I think, for me at least, making sure that I don’t just rely on my Sunday morning as my worship service. My wife and I are in a small group during the week in our home town, and we look at that as more of our “church” and worship service. It is a time that we can just sit down and not have to worry about leading music or singing. We can fellowship with our friends and fellow believers and have nothing on our minds other than Jesus. I’ve had pastors tell me that after they get home from preaching, they’ll turn on the TV and watch Dr. Charles Stanley or another church and use that as their time to be taught the word. I think that is very critical for a minister. I’ve always used the phrase, “Don’t let your ministry get in the way of your ministry.” Basically, if you never take time to worship outside of your ministry, that can negatively affect how you minister when it comes your time to minister. So, for all you ministers out there, always be sure to find time to worship outside of your Sunday morning. If you’re a minister, how do you find time to worship outside of Sunday morning services. What do you do?