8 Reasons Worship this Weekend Makes Me Anxious as a Pastor

Well, perhaps “anxious” is the wrong word – but I do face the reality of serious introspection and a sense of fearful awe as I think about leading our church to worship this weekend. Here’s why:

  1. This is God’s work, not ours. I doubt I need to expound on that truth. I just need to remember it.
  2. Lives are at stake. I believe 100% in the sovereign hand of God as He deals with our congregations, but that foundation doesn’t eliminate our responsibility to care for the souls of people under our watch (Heb 13:17).
  3. We sometimes approach worship on Sunday with too little time with God the rest of the week. When that happens, we wind up leading worship out of obligation rather than out of joy.
  4. It’s just too easy to make worship about me. Nobody I know wants that to happen, but many of us still wrestle with ego. We want to do well, and we look forward to compliments and pats on the back for a sermon well-delivered.
  5. I realize we have just this one opportunity with some of the worshipers. There’s no guarantee they’ll all be back – so I don’t want to waste time or lose focus. I want them to see God.
  6. Worship usually includes a lot of moving parts—most over which I have little control. Things just happen that sometimes are distracting in worship, and there’s not much you can do to fix it right then. You just have to try to press on with joy.
  7. I don’t want to get discouraged by smaller crowds during COVID. Perhaps I’m the only pastor who wrestles with this reality, but I know my tendency. I want to rejoice over whoever gathers to worship.
  8. Somebody might say something to me that morning that throws me off track. It doesn’t happen often, but I usually remember when somebody raises an issue we could have discussed at a different time. In fact, I wrote a post years ago entitled, “How to Talk to Your Pastor—or Not—on the Way to the Service.”

What would you add to this list today? Also, may I ask you to say a simple prayer now for all pastors leading worship this weekend? 

1 Comment

  • Robin G Jordan says:

    I just finished reading an article by Matt Henlee. In his article he quotes Isaiah 55:11, So my word that comes from my mouth will not return to me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do….” When I preach, I have at times turned this passage into a prayer.” I pray something like this, “Let your word go forth from my mouth and not return to you empty but accomplish what you have purposed.” Ultimately it is not what we say or how we say it, that matters. God speaks through as an instrument but he is also busily working in the hearts of those to whom we are preaching. It may not fall to us to reap the ripened grain but to prepare the soil, to plant a seed, to water the seed, to water the young plant when it springs up, and tend it carefully as grows. How we serve him during a particular instant is his choosing. The word that we speak will accomplish what God intends it to do. We will do our best because we want to glorify God with our preaching but the result of that preaching is in his hands and his hands alone.

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