By Duane Quesenberry
Five Questions About My Worship Practices
Dear Parishioner, Here are five questions for reflecting about your participation at Church this past Sunday, and the last three Sundays.
- routinely arriving for worship at the last minute, or late? Consider: How early do I arrive for events about which I am excited?
- usually sitting in the rear of the Sanctuary? Consider: Where do I sit when attending an event I really like?
- customarily not engaging in worship? Consider: Am I singing, praying, bringing a Bible (or utilizing the app) and taking notes during the sermon?
- frequently using my smart phone or tablet for purposes other than worship? Consider: How frequently am I surfing the internet while God’s Word is being taught?
- typically rushing out the door to leave as soon as worship has concluded? Consider: Why do I leave early? Could I build relationships and feel more connected if I participated in after church fellowship?
Understandably, there are lots of possible responses to these questions. Many are legitimate. These are just observations from a twenty-five year pastor who sees that, at times, there may be a correlations between these five behaviors and dysfunctional personal-spiritual and Church life. Perhaps slight changes will produce positive results. It is something to think about.
Five Questions About My Pastoral Ministry
Dear Pastor, Here are five questions to consider about your pastoral ministry at Church in preparation for this past Sunday and the last three Sundays.
- give myself to the necessary discipline of preparing my mind and heart and notes to teach God’s Word with inspiration, information, instruction and application? Question: Is there any priority more pressing than “feeding the flock of God?”
- schedule adequate time to pray for the worship services I lead? Question: “Am I so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, am I now trying to finish by means of the flesh?” (paraphrase of Galatians 3:3) Remember how frequently I prayed in the rookie days of ministry?
- make the conscious effort on Sunday, to love the Congregation with sincere interest, purposeful interaction and positive affirmation? Question: Did the Congregation leave worship knowing that I love them? More importantly, knowing that God loves them?
- contact those who were absent from worship – for whatever reason, letting them know they are valued? Question: Could I increase retention by focused follow-up?
- plan one day this week for rest and renewal, ensuring that I continue to serve with enthusiasm and optimism? Question: What routine disciplines of self-care do I need to add to my weekly schedule?
While there are other important pastoral responsibilities, this is my focused-five today.
Understandably, there are lots of possible responses to the questions raised above. Many are legitimate. These are just observations from a twenty-five year pastor who is personally challenged by these questions and observes possible correlation between these five focuses as the difference in faithful or dysfunctional pastoral life. Perhaps slight changes will produce positive results. It is something to think about.