I noticed something weird last week. As I thought about it, I realized it had been happening for a while. Yesterday confirmed it again.
Over the last few months, Sundays have energized me. They leave me with more energy, more joy, more enthusiasm than I had when I got there early in the morning. Now that may sound weird to the non preachers reading this post, because after all, that’s what worship is supposed to do, right?
But the truth is, for years prior to this (okay, maybe a decade), Sundays left me drained and rather anti-social. I would get home exhausted and burned out. I would sleep on the couch and generally retreat. It would often last two days. Even though I would go to work the next day, my knuckles would drag. And I know from talking to many preachers over the years that I’m not alone. I thought it came with the territory, and I eventually ended up justifying some of it as biblical.
So I started to wonder, why am I driving home with a smile on my face these days? Why did I love not only preaching two services, but then going to a park and serving our volunteers for three hours yesterday? I even have to get up way earlier to do this! It’s not like the first seven months of Connexus were a cake walk. Far from it. What kind of energy and joy is this that is emerging? Where is it coming from? The truth is, I really don’t know, but I’m grateful for it. Here are some tentative reasons:
- We are actually impacting the unchurched at a deeper level than before. I have had more conversations with people who have no church background in the last six months than in the previous five years combined.
- Our volunteers and leadership team are aligned at a better level than before, really wanting to do this kind of ministry. We spend almost no time justifying the kind of ministry we’re doing and almost all our time trying to figure out how to do it better.
- Our ministry is more focused than ever before. The few environments we run are designed to facilitate our mission. That means our time and resources are focused on a goal we find worth pursuing.
- People are giving with their lives and resources at a deeper level than ever before. And having hundreds of people using their gifts in tight alignment with a common mission and strategy is incredibly empowering. I honestly an amazed every week to see people serve hard and long with huge smiles on their faces.
I guess I’m deeply grateful to the people who are making this journey to become Connexus. You energize me. And I’m grateful to God for the opportunity to roll up our sleeves and dig deep into what I pray will be a long, dramatic run into the lives of the 85% of our friends, family and neighbours who are not in a growing relationship with Jesus.
What energizes or drains you in ministry, as a staff member or volunteer?