There are some numerical facts about your church you can know this weekend, like attendance, additions, and giving figures. Many other things, though, we cannot know—and we simply have to trust God to work through us:
- Who’s really listening when it seems they aren’t. As far as you can tell, they’re disconnected. Completely. But, they’re not. They’re listening even though you think otherwise.
- Who’s not listening at all even when it seems they are. Some folks have a unique ability to look engaged when their mind is actually miles away. They’re not listening to you at all.
- Which families are in turmoil behind closed doors. They might look quite happy at church, but they’re hurting at home. That’s why we should pray for all the families in the church—not only those we know are struggling.
- How much listeners respond to your message. Giving an invitation might provide you some evidence, but the real test is whether people follow the Word throughout the week—and throughout their lives. You may never know those details.
- How many members are on the verge of leaving your church. I pray not many, but we most often learn about impending departures at the moment of the exit. We learn too late to do much.
- Who’s not a genuine believer in your congregation. We can make some spiritually-educated guesses based on lifestyle, but some hypocrites are really good at it. They deceive everyone—perhaps including themselves.
- How many people are praying for you. This one is a positive for me. Most of us pastors know some members who pray for us, but my sense is we don’t always know just how many pray regularly for us. Thus, we miss a real blessing.
- The far-reaching, long-term influence of your ministry. If we’re striving to walk faithfully with God, none of us knows how wide our influence is. On the other hand, a fallen walk with God can have far-reaching effects, too.
- How much your message might touch the nations. Perhaps the nations are sitting among your leaders, an international will listen to the live-stream of your service, or God is calling one of your members to be an international missionary. In any case, your ministry unexpectedly crosses geographical and people group barriers.
- All that God is teaching you this weekend. Much of the time, we don’t recognize God’s lessons in our lives until after we’ve experienced them. Whatever you face this weekend—whether positive or negative—trust that God is teaching you something.
May God bless your work this weekend!