Have you ever had a Sunday where things just went … weird? I’m not talking about when the guest preacher doesn’t show up or when you wake up sick as a dog on Sunday morning. I’m talking about when Sunday morning is filled with little distractions that can disrupt the pastor’s “zone.”
Let me share an experience: One Sunday recently, everything was going great. The praise team’s rehearsal went well, and I was greeting folks before the service. Then, about 10 minutes before the service started, things began to go sideways. When my wife arrived, she explained that there was an individual passed out on the sidewalk outside our office entrance. So I grabbed another gentleman, walked to our office and, sure enough, a young lady was lying right outside our office door.
I said, “Hello?” and there was no response. So I leaned down, patted her on the back — and was greeted with a gruff, “Leave me alone!” After trying to talk to her for a minute, it was clear that something was very wrong, so I went back inside, called 911, made sure we had some folks to meet the ambulance and proceeded to walk back to the sanctuary for the beginning of the service.
During the announcement time following the first song, I explained what was happening outside, and we prayed for the situation. When I got back to my pew, I was greeted with a couple of text messages from our online service-watchers that my mic wasn’t coming through the livestream. Later, during the sermon, we had issues with the computer running the slides.
In other words, it was a weird morning. Maybe you’ve experienced that, too – a Sunday morning where things just don’t go the way you’ve planned.
When that happens, I’m tempted to get frustrated. But I recently watched a video from musician and comedian Mark Lowry in which he said Gloria Gaither once told him that Jesus often shows up in the interruptions. And that’s good, because interruptions are a part of life. 2020 has certainly had more than its fair share of them!
Interruptions remind us that we are not in control. Interruptions remind us that we are far more dependent upon God than we realize. And interruptions, especially on Sunday mornings, allow us an opportunity to teach our folks how to deal with them when they come up in their day-to-day lives.
In the work of replanting, there will be many interruptions. Don’t look at them as obstacles, but rather as opportunities to deepen your trust in God and see Him work in ways you were not expecting.
Published October 20, 2020