Church, God, Grace, Holy Spirit, imperfect, pastors, perfectionism
Reflecting on Sunday mornings as a pastor, I know I try to recall all of the announcements, prayer requests and logistical worship comments. Guess what? Even with writing myself notes I still forget things.
Most of our churches are not crafted like a production. Sure, some larger churches with multiple staff are able to spend more time and focus on the entertainment value of worship. They are able to dedicate more resources on their worship.
Even then, it’s still not perfect. Imperfections are cast in the shadow of the entertaining spectacle.
As much as we hope to be, every one of us pastors must face the reality of our own imperfections. Each and every liturgist, usher/greeter, children’s time deliverer, acolyte, communion steward, choir member and musician are imperfect. A candle will fail to light, a name in Scripture will be mispronounced and the pastor will forget to lift up one of our ill friends during our time of sharing prayers.
Each week, we do the best we can to make sure the focus is on God and our relationship with the Divine. In the process, mistakes will be made. Yes, unfortunately, they will distract from our focus on God. Yet, we continue to do our best, work at our mistakes for the good of God, our neighbors and, of course, the good of ourselves.
No matter how mild or severe the mistake, here’s the thing: God is still present. God is still active. The Holy Spirit continues to inspire, and God is still worshiped. No matter what little (or big) mistakes we make along the way, God still loves us and showers us with grace. God will never fail to meet us as we worship no matter how bad the preaching, singing or praying is in our congregations.
Dennis Ureche said:
Thanks Michelle, that’s what I tell our folks every week. A very wise pastor during my first year of seminary told me after I had made a mistake during one of our three worship services one Sunday told me this, “Dennis, if you ask the question following worship was God worshiped and praised this morning and the answer is yes, you have nothing to worry about.” I remind myself of that each week.