I know some Sundays (and in fact, some entire ministries) are really rough for some pastors. Church people can be difficult, if not downright unbelieving. They can drain you of your spiritual passion and leadership zeal.
On the other hand, church can be really sweet many times. Here are some of those times that come to mind for me today—and I offer them to you in hopes that you might see at least one in your church.
- When the church has a clear sense of mission, vision, and direction. That’s when you know the church is moving in the right direction, and you want to be a part of it.
- When the pastor preaches the Word convictionally and clearly. There’s little like the power of the preached Word. Conversely, though, weak preaching isn’t so sweet.
- When the church regularly sees new converts baptized as a sign of their faith. Given our belief in the transforming power of the gospel, it’s a tragedy that so few churches see a lot of non-believers turn to Christ. When it begins to happen, though, it’s humbling.
- When you genuinely share life with the believers around you. It’s one thing to show up at church, not really get to know anyone, and return home. It’s a whole different world to let brothers and sisters in Christ truly become family.
- When the worship music is God-centered, theologically rich, and well done. The latter component may be the least significant of the three, but it nonetheless matters. We honor God when we give Him our best.
- When the congregation gathers around and ministers to someone who’s hurting. I’m convinced the world can’t fully understand the kind of love God puts in His church for one another. That love can be amazingly giving, sacrificial, deep—and sweet.
- When God answers a long-offered prayer for somebody’s loved one to turn to Christ. Such was the case when my dad came to Christ after we prayed for more than 30+ years. Members of several churches where I had served rejoiced with me.
- When the church works hard to prayerfully maintain unity. The enemy has always tried to divide God’s people, so we have to work at unity—but it’s sweet when it happens.
- When the church sends out next generations of pastors and missionaries. Sure, those times can also be emotional because we love those we send, but sending out others reminds us that our work is far bigger than we are.
- When the whole church falls on its knees before God. I’ve seen that happen only a few times, but it’s powerful when it does. That’s often how true revival starts.
Even if your church or ministry is difficult today, I pray God has given or will give you a glimpse of His glory in one of these ways. I pray church will be sweet for you.