Sunday morning is game day for me. Opening the scriptures and nourishing the flock of God in their faith in Christ is by far the most important responsibility I have. So, I’m nervous (more or less) every Sunday, anxious to do a good job of it, and concerned that God’s voice be heard in the hearts of everyone he brings that day. This is, I think, as it should be for me. Imagine if a teaching pastor took lightly the opening of God’s Word.

However, though the sermon is the most important thing I’m doing, it is not necessarily the most important thing happening in each life there. The Spirit is doing many other crucial works on Sunday mornings that are only tangentially connected to the pulpit, all of them aimed at the growth of the gospel in people’s lives. In any healthy church there are many invisible (to us) ministries going on that are not reliant on or even very affected by the sermon. Prayer groups, connections between people, worship and praise, new friendships forming, old ones re-grouping, personal spiritual direction through casual conversations, and more are all dynamic and health-giving. It happens spontaneously around the main service without programming or supervision. These are tiny powerful deeds done quietly by the Spirit in unobtrusive and apparently random ways. (I have discovered there are no “random” events in ministry, no real “accidents.”). Bottom line: it seems that most of what the Lord is doing on Sunday morning He’s not telling me about.

 

Why do I need to remember this? Because if my only metric for ministry is preaching, I will be too elated with a good sermon and conversely too dejected if I think I blew it. I’ll take too much on my own spiritual shoulders. This happens to us pastors all the time. It can produce anger, pride, depression and a myopic or overly critical view of the health of the church. In my attempts to oversee ministry (from the pulpit point of view), I may overlook a ton of excellent spiritual work that God is doing.

 

I have found it a relief to step back, practice what I preach (that God is at work among us), and relax a bit about the impact of my preaching. It has helped me do a better job in the long run.

 

Just a Thought,
Pastor Rick

About The Author

Rick Booye

Rick Booye is the senior and founding pastor of the Trail Christian Fellowship in Eagle Point, Oregon where he has been the main teaching pastor for over 30 years. Rick is a graduate of Biola University (BA in Bible) and Western Seminary in Portland Oregon (M.A. Exegetical Theology; D.Min.).

Related Posts

One Response

  1. John Tiffin

    Thanks for this reminder, Rick. I do see this at our church and it’s an encouragement to me. BTW, we share somewhat similar backgrounds, as I have my M.Div. & Th.M. from Western and my D.Min. from Talbot. You have “senior pastor seniority” on me, however, as I’ve only been here in Los Osos for 24 years.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.
If you would like more information on how cookies are used, please continue to more info. Or you can click OK to proceed as accepted.

More Info
Okay