Sunday, November 9, 2008

Opinions requested: Sunday Morning Lean

I'd like to hear from some people who attend church, and who don't attend a traditional worship service--both clergy and otherwise. My purpose is to get a feel for how your spirit leans on Sunday morning when you get up.

I just read a comment from an old college friend on my Facebook wall. He said something like, "I'm getting ready for a fantastic Sunday!"

Pastors, is that the way your spirit leans at seven on Sunday mornings? Please try and reflect here on how your prayers, your mood, your overall spirit feels on Sunday mornings. Hopeful? Excited? Fearful? How does your sermon play into this? How does the service prep effect this?

Attenders, could you answer the same questions? You probably don't have a sermon, or may not have done prep for the service; but how do your prayers, mood and overall spirit feel on Sunday mornings as you prepare yourself for worship.

And for those of you who don't go to worship service, perhaps preferring nothing, or a house church, or... How about you?

I'd appreciate readers letting some others know about this "pole." It would be interesting to see how several of you from all three categories weigh-in.

Peace to you.


Rich Schmidt said...

Speaking as a pastor, I usually feel a mix of anticipation and anxiety on Sunday mornings. I usually get up early because I still have some last-minute things to finish. Our service is at 9:30, but since we meet in a banquet hall, there's some setup involved. Thankfully, I don't do much of it anymore! So I'm usually up around 4:00 or 5:00, with an hour or two of work to do, along with showering, getting dressed, eating my bowl of cereal, etc. I leave the house around 7:00-7:30.

So my anxiety is about 1/2 due to my lack of preparation, 1/3 due to being a young, mobile church, and 1/6 due to normal public speaking jitters. The anticipation is due to the possibilities that the morning brings. What new person is going to walk in the door this week? What steps will people take in response to our meeting together around God's Word? And, of course, it's just fun to be together!

My wife is pushing me to get all my prep work done before Friday at 5:00 pm so we can enjoy the weekend together a bit more. If I can get back into that habit, it would cut my anxiety in half! :)

I'm looking forward to reading some other responses!

Anonymous said...

I guess this wasn't such an attractive request:). However, I relate to all you wrote Rich...except the public speaking jitters and the young, mobile church.

My anxiety kicks-in earlier than it used to. I struggle with my Sunday morning beginning on Saturday AM. No matter how prepared I am, I just do. I'd have to say that I struggle with confidence in the agenda of who we are and where we are going. I used to apply myself heavily to the direction/"vision" of the congregation. Now, perhaps I've read too much or attended too many conferences, but I struggle knowing what "success" is. :~/

And there could be a little fear of a repeat of the day I crashed while preaching, having thought I was feeling great 1 second before. Maybe a lot of fear there.

O well. Thanks for the conversation.

Zee said...

most of the times i feel excited, although gotta admit that faded a bit lately because i no longer feel like i really belong to my Church. i still am excited to see a new day, but something is missing.

the only time when i was preaching (and i mean, preaching preaching, not sunday school or VBS or something) at Mom's church, not mine, i felt jitters like 2 weeks before the actual day and the worst ones were just before i came up to the pulpit. however, once i started the sermon, i realized that i was actually listening to myself and enjoying the experience... i wonder whether that's what every pastor feels when preaching: the words coming out whether you planned them or not, examples to use to make the story more personal for your parish... heh...

anyway, i got off the topic. since i usually teach Sunday School (when i do it), i don't like preparing the message exactly the way i want it to sound beforehand because i try to adapt the lesson to the kids that are present. plus, being with kids makes it easier and there are no jitters before speaking.

the morning part before Church is usually getting up, showering, getting a nice hot cup of earl grey tea, and going to Church... i'm definitely not a morning person...

Anonymous said...

I'm not a pastor but someone who has just gone to church 2 Sunday's in a row now after not attending in about 14 years. Can't believe it's been so long. Still not sure if this is where we are meant to be but needed a loving place to start. My hubby is just starting to show interest in Christ for the first time in the 11 years we've been married, very exciting for me but unnerving b/c our relationship is going in a direction that is different than our norm. I think I like it, I just pray when I get anxiety after walking out of the church doors...wondering what he's thinking. The awesome thing that has happened is he has opened up with such honesty and with questions I have always taken for granted, having been brought up in the church. It's as if God has opened up a link between us that takes away the anxiety that I felt earlier and we are both learning!! I'm so very thankful God is opening Eric's heart and dare I say re-opening mine to the wonders that come w/following our Messiah. We have started reading the book of John together the past 2 Sat. nites before bed, which for us is huge. We usually chow on some popcorn and twizzlers during a movie or 2 on the couch late into the nite. Something else that has suprised me is that I haven't felt that 'oh crud' feeling about having to get up to 'go to church'. I used to resent that I couldn't sleep in...still figuring out if that's just part of growing up or if God is at play here. Anyway, not much insight really other than my marriage is on a new adventure that is much needed and Sunday Church is part of it. Digging that! Bless all of you who speak to those of us out in the 'crowd' because we DO need you and DO appreciate all the love and care you put into sharing the Word with us. It's truly amazing and for 2 people,in the crowd, are learning in wonderment. Thank you!
Beardo's Offspring