I can’t unravel the web of preparing worship and doing ministry

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So when do you decide you are spending too much time preparing for worship services and setting up systems, and not enough time ministering to people? Or vice versa?

I am in one of my busiest and most stressful times as a pastor, but it is right now that people are coming forward seeking help from our community. I know it isn’t my job to do it all, but I’m often the first stop. An easy conclusion would be that it is time to worry less about all the details. Maybe that last creative element for Sunday that we are trying to pull off isn’t really all that important, just free up time to “be there,” to minister to people.
But then I stop and realize that the reason the person came to Jacob’s Well, and came back, and finally felt permission to open up the pain inside was because of creative elements that we painstakingly prepared and presented.

It is an intricately woven fabric of telling the story, opening lives and touching them with the presence of God. There is balance, but there is no formula. It is always follow God doing the best you can with what you have. Keep your eyes wide open and remember that both ministry and God inspired creativity have a tendency to happen when you haven’t planned on them.

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6 responses to “I can’t unravel the web of preparing worship and doing ministry

  1. I sometimes think we spending too much time preparing. It has almost become entertainment, where the music has to be just right, the service flow correctly. Everything is now so preplanned I often don’t sense the movement of GOD within the rehersals of men.

    The church, is the people. That’s where our time should be.
    Thanks for the post

  2. But if I hadn’t found that one last creative element, and taken the time to use it in a way that cut to the heart of the Gospel message that week, I don’t think I would have reached her heart. It is complicated.

    It may not be that way for everyone in this body of Christ, but it seems that my role is not only to be with people, but to find ways to make the vision live so that all of us can be in transformative relationships. Hmmm…

    Wrestling is a good thing. Thanks for your thoughts, Mike. I know that there are times when I get too caught up in the Preparation and forget the People. You would be right in saying that if we are to fault on one side or the other (preparation or people) it should be on the side of people.

  3. Yep. It is a difficult balance. For myself I am finding the need to give over to GOD and let Him work out the details. There are times when He wants us to be concerned with the details.

    I have been thinking about the need to mobilize more of the church for ministry. Having groups of people just to welcome and get to know new people, seeing that the get “plugged into” the body. Then having others just there to council and encourage.

    I think this will call for new minsitry model.

  4. Greg,

    You always have all the help you need, sometimes people are just waiting for the opportunity to help yet yes need to be asked.
    Details are important and paying attention to them and drawing people in in new ways too.
    Yet remember it is the Holy Spirit who moves people not anything we do. In His Grace, Kelly

  5. Kelly, sounds like you are speaking from personal experience. I think you have a story there.

    You are right, of course. But boy, we (or at least I) have to keep learning it over and over again. Trusting is tough stuff.

  6. Remember when the trailer was “stolen”. The worship following that incident was one of the most real and God-filled experiences of my life. Sure, we had minimal visuals – mainly people, chairs and candles – no sound system and no video, but the simplicity of it – and the feeling that God was present (AND HE WAS SO PRESENT) was awesome.

    Sometimes I really believe we overthink and overworry about the details of worship.

    If we have time for the details great, if not, then we should just worship as are…just one girl’s opinion.

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