Inside a Pastor’s “Bad” Sunday

It’s always great to see personal growth in my life!  Yesterday (Sunday) was a day where I saw it so clearly.  Let me start with what happened from my perspective.  Our first service at Leroy Chapel was the most distracted in teaching I’ve ever been.  Amidst the environmental maladies (temperature and sound system) my head was spinning.  I was distracted and couldn’t seem to get past it.  Add to that I was starting into the book of Micah (yeah, preaching a Minor Prophet for Advent) and struggling to get out of the blocks well in our study.  Forty minutes later I’m not sure that I said anything of value to God’s people.  I couldn’t wait to finish the service.  I’m in the middle of the benediction and the microphone screeches yet again, I just hopelessly close in prayer and do my best to exit stage left to pray my frustration away before the second service begins.  I can barely get down the stairs before a gentleman in our church, who obviously b-lined to me, stops me to tell me how much God used that message in his life this morning.  I say thanks knowing that more clearly than ever it wasn’t because of me.  I head outside to stand in the 38 degree morning alone to preach the Gospel to myself, beg God for grace, and figure out what to change in my sermon.  The second service starts in what seemed quicker than usual, and we were off and running leading another group of God’s children in worship this first Sunday of Advent.  The Spirit of God rode in to my troubled heart on the familiar promises of God and freed me from “relying on myself”.  I gloried in the cross, rested in His Fatherly care, and just did what God has called me to do.  I have no idea if the sermon was any better, but it felt like an entirely different one to me.  I saw how human and how supernatural what I get to do as a pastor is.  Reflecting on yesterday (which isn’t in “woe is me complaining”, but spiritual evaluation) I could see clear growth in my heart … and that’s always fun. How? (1) What in the past would have “messed with me” (1st service), God gave me the maturity to just move on from and worship Him out of my calling (2nd service).  (2) I felt more than ever that it wasn’t about me, but the Spirit of God who wields the Word … and the Word’s got the power!  (3) I didn’t let the lies like – “Maybe you should just go work at Home Depot” fill my mind, but rather the promises like – “grace in a time of need” flood my heart.  (4) I can easily write about it today rather than wish it never happened, and (5) I can’t wait for next Sunday.  Such good stuff to see spiritual activity take place in my soul … Thank you God.  And thanks to all of you who prayed for me as you huddled under your jackets as the sanctuary became a deep-freeze 🙂

Loving God’s Work in Me,

Pastor Mark


6 thoughts on “Inside a Pastor’s “Bad” Sunday

  1. Thanks for that honest confession Pastor Mark!
    It’s only when we rest in Him that great things are accomplished, but oh, it’s a constant lesson, isn’t it?

    Merry Christmas Season to the Spansels!

    Stephanie Flaa


  2. I think it is so wonderful for my pastor to write such humbling thoughts out loud for his congregation to read. What a great tool for us to share; that you too, are but just a man, who is daily in need of a Savior as much as I am. We are all found “with our heads spinning” everyday. This is why it is so important for us to stop and refresh our souls with the Spirit and continue on in His Grace!

    How great it is to be able to worship Jesus together with you!!
    Thank you so much for sharing from your heart brother!!
    Kristi Milo


  3. Wow – how cool is that?!!? THANK YOU for sharing from your heart. I can really relate (not as a preacher, but in other situations I find myself in at times). By knowing that kinda stuff goes on in your mind at times like that, and by reading how you handled it – is so very encouraging. You taught me a big lesson, even though we werent’ there yesterday. We finally visited GRCC 😉 T’was excellent.

    Thanks again dear brother…


  4. We saw you struggling – BUT your sermon was very good – covering more of Micah in detail then any I have heard before- you have the gift of digging into the scriptures for us and making it all so understandable! We just love your gifts. I thought it was the opposition messing with you for the temp and sound- and you got past it beautifully! Remarkable delivery as always.


  5. Thanks for sharing, Mark. Funny how He still chooses to use jars of clay. I enjoyed Micah and the beautiful way it colors in Luke, and I appreciate your faithful study and delivery of the Word each week. Keep it comin’!


  6. Hey, I think you’d be awesome at Home Depot!!

    Wow, I definitely know the feelings you shared, up close, personal, and often.

    We are so good at preaching that it is not me, but it’s all Him, but when the preacher has to learn the lessaon for himself, it isn’t an easy lesson, but in the end, a sweet one.

    Keep fighting. We are with you from afar!!


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