Yesterday, I posted on characteristics of defeated pastors. Maybe you’re a church lay leader or a pastor, and you’re one of those leaders who really dreads going to church this Sunday. I hope these suggested steps will help you to go anyway:
1. Confess your struggles to God. There’s no reason to pretend with your feelings. God can handle your honesty. Talk to Him.
2. Pray for a changed heart at least for this weekend. Even if your heart still struggles, ask God to change you just enough to get through the next couple of days. He often heals gradually anyway, so trust that today’s healing will lead to tomorrow’s victory.
3. Choose to be obedient. Sometimes you just have to love God through your actions, even when your emotions lag behind. Be obedient to assemble with God’s people, modeling for your church to choose obedience even when it hurts.
4. Don’t let the enemy discourage you more. Satan always wants to stress you out. He delights when you gather with God’s people, but do so with no faith or hope. If that’s where you are, at least don’t let him have any more victory. Believe that God will bless your obedience.
5. Love the church anyway. The apostle Paul concluded 1 Corinthians with these words: “My love be with you all in Christ Jesus” (1 Cor 16:24). He loved this church that was really quite a mess. We need to love the messes of which we are a part, too.
6. Intentionally go, looking for glimpses of God’s presence. We often see what we expect to see in church. If you expect trouble and disappointment, that’s what you’ll see. Instead, fight to go with eyes of faith.
7. Realize that people will remember you by your latest actions. I’m not suggesting that you leave your church, of course. I’m simply saying that if you stay bitter and hurt, that’s what people will remember. In the power of the Spirit, be bigger than that.
What else would you add to this list?