Do You Lean Back or Lean In on Sunday Mornings?

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Do you lean in on Sunday mornings? Or does a critical spirit or unchecked cynicism have you leaning out, ready to size up and dress down the slips and inadequacies of the leaders up front?

Does a spirit of apathy and laziness have you leaning back, just going through the motions, anticipating little more than the benediction and your afternoon nap to follow?

God Works in Miscues

Leaning in on Sunday morning has less to do with the posture of your body, and more to do with the stance of your soul — whether your heart is constricted and closed in corporate worship, or swelling in hope and expanding with expectation. Whether you have an attitude of anticipation, or whether society’s increasing cynicism about everything under the sun has come home to roost in your own chest. Whether you’re ready to give the benefit of the doubt to miscues up front and distractions around you in the pews, or are waiting for another excuse to disengage.

As you sit judging, negligent to the conflagration of grace at work around you, have you considered the time and energy that have been invested to prepare for this gathering? Do you receive it as a gift of love, or with a sense of entitlement? And have you considered how God loves to work in and through his people in corporate worship, not just despite, but often because of, our blunders and imperfections?

Pastors, Not Performers

It may help to know that very few pastors feel adequate in all the facets of our up front leadership in corporate worship. In fact, many feel adequate in none of the facets.

The rehearsals of live theater, and the retakes and extensive edits of movies and television, may have conditioned our society to expect flawlessness on stage, but this is not the calling of corporate worship. Your pastors are not professional actors, and your leaders in music and song are not rock stars.

Our pastors have been entrusted not with producing a good show or memorable concert, but the care of our souls — which is not “professional” work to begin with. They may appear up front for an hour each week, but the other 167 hours they are not on stage. They are not performers. They are very easy to critique. You deserve no badge of honor for being sharp enough to spot problems and identify places for improvement. It is very naïve to expect eloquence up front from your pastors.

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SOURCE: Desiring God
David Mathis