I write this post having been a pastor and talked to pastors for a number of years. Sundays are often great days of being with God’s people, but most of us face some type of distraction during the day – especially in these continual days of COVID-19. Pastors, did any of these things distract you yesterday?
- Technology that doesn’t work. It can be both distracting and annoying when the audio or visual systems act up.
- Word that someone in the church has tested positive for COVID. No matter how long we deal with this issue, it’s still halting when we learn of someone else with the virus.
- A frustrated church member who expressed concern just before the service. Somehow, it always seems to happen that way. In fact, years ago I wrote a post on “How to Talk to Your Pastor—or Not—on the Way to the Service.”
- Attendance that’s still considerably lower than pre-COVID numbers. We want to be patient with growth, but it’s hard not to compare the numbers.
- Attenders who seem to pay no attention to the sermon. We usually don’t know why that happens, but we also often somehow pick them out of the crowd. It’s funny how our eyes seem to go there, no matter how large the crowd is.
- An upcoming difficult meeting with a church member. The meeting may not take place for several days, but seeing the member in church can sometimes raise our concerns about that meeting.
- Honest personal questions about whether God is calling us to another place of service. No matter how hard we try to lay aside these questions as we minister on a Sunday, it’s not easy to do it.
- Personal sin in the pastor’s life. We’d hope that all pastors have dealt with their sin prior to proclaiming the Word, but I doubt that’s the case. The necessary conviction of sin ought to distract us long enough to call us to repentance.
- Struggles in the pastor’s family. Sometimes, we quietly and privately bear family burdens alone. It’s almost impossible not to think about these things, even when we’re ministering on Sunday.
- Attacks of the enemy (spiritual warfare). Evil forces will do all they can do to distract our attention when the church gathers. They’re good at it, too—especially when we’re unaware of this reality.
Pastors, what distracted you yesterday?