Pastor, Just Attend

Yesterday was one of those rare days in the life of a minister, I just attended a worship service. I know what you are probably thinking,

But pastor, you attend a worship service every week, that is kinda what you do. That’s your big day. What you have been preparing for and working towards all week.

You would be right. I attend worship every week. When I attend, I worship alongside others, but I also lead the worship I attend – I pray, I read Scripture, I preach, and I distribute the communion elements.

In Your Shoes

Yesterday, however, someone else did all those things. Someone else led the worship I attended. Essentially, I was in your shoes. I was greeted at the door by friendly greeters who didn’t call me pastor. I attended a Sunday School class where I participated as a visitor. I sat in the pew during the service singing, praying, and listening to the sermon with everyone else. As we took communion, I sat next to my son explaining to him what the bread and grape juice (Baptist Church) represented. I just attended the worship service.

Not a Divide

I don’t say “I just attended” to create a divide between those attending and those leading. I don’t believe the clergy are superior to the congregant. I believe in the priesthood of all believers. I have no more of a connection to God than other Christians. We are all called by God to our vocation. So I don’t make that distinction in order to make light of attending worship or to create a divide between the attendee and the leader. Instead, I make the distinction because it is rare for pastors to not be involved in some way in the worship service. It is rare for them to just attend.

Refreshing

While there was a moment during the preaching portion of the service that I missed standing behind the pulpit proclaiming the Word, it was refreshing to attend and worship with other likeminded brothers and sisters in the Lord. It was good for my soul. It provided me rest. It even confirmed to me my calling to preach.

Pastor, Just Attend

Pastor, let me encourage you to take a Sunday off, attend another church where others don’t know you as pastor, and just attend. Don’t agree to read Scripture or pray. Don’t agree to be a guest speaker. Don’t participate in the service as a minister in any way, just attend with everyone else. Just worship with everyone else. Take a break and let someone else lead. It will be good for your soul. It will provide you rest. And it may even confirm your calling to preach. Pastor, just attend.

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