This morning in my quiet time I reflected over the past two Sunday services in our church. For some reason attendance was down compared to last year. The flu has hit and I’m sure that accounts for some absences. But, I’ve struggled with discouragement wondering what we could do differently to encourage people to attend. Unfortunately, I’m tempted too often to allow the church numbers game to regulate my inner peace.
As I mulled over my feelings, I read Psalm 27. Verse four goes like this.
One thing (my emphasis) I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
I’ve read that passage hundreds of times but this time the first two words struck me: ONE THING. As I felt like a not-so-successful pastor because numbers had drooped, I asked myself these questions.
- Charles, what is your ONE THING?
- Is your ONE THING to strive always to feel competent because your efforts brought more people to church?
- Is your ONE THING to always serve a church whose attendance graph is to the right and up?
- Is your ONE THING yourself?
I forced myself to ask these penetrating questions in light of David’s ONE THING. He wanted more than anything to know, follow, and be with his Lord. Do I really want what he wanted? I believe I do, but sometimes for a while other things supplant the ONE THING. These uncomfortable feelings make me evaluate if I’m keeping the right ONE THING.
I’m just guessing here, but I bet many if not most pastors face this same temptation.
What is your ONE THING today?