Help For Those On The Front Lines Of Ministry.

Past Updates

Jan 19, 2005
Taking Your Temperature

What is the temperature of your congregation?

Its freezing in the North East. Artic Blast time. Below 0 temps. Colder still in Minnesota. I think of the Lutheran churches in Mille Lac’s, 55 below zero. Ouch.

But what is the temperature of your congregation?

I know here in the east, it is a tremendous blessing to walk into a house after being outside for a few moments. The warmth hits you in the face, steams your glasses, and causes shivers to run up your spine as the warm invades your now iced feet and hands.

But in most congregations when I walk in, even in August, what I find is an Artic Blast. Hand and faces show the signs of being out in the spiritual Artic way too long. And I can’t help but wonder, what is the temperature of the hearts in this place.

I was in a church in Alabama recently. Small, rural, country, Alabama church. Not very different from Central Pennsylvania or many other rural spaces in this country. As the service was about to start, the pastor opened worship with an invitation to come to the front, kneel at the altar rail and pray. I was the quest speaker that day, so I was sitting at in the front pew. There were four young children sitting there--the oldest girl was about 10. As the invitation was given to go forward, she leaned to the boy beside me and said, “are you going up?” He replied, “I sure am. Are you?” She had also leaned to the boy and girl on the other side of her and asked them. Now she turned back to the first young boy and answered, “lets go.” Then the young boy beside me, turned to me, looked me in the eye and said, “You want to go up with us Mister?”. Tears filled my eyes. No Artic blast here. Here the children know to ask strangers to pray. I answered, “I sure am.” And forward we went. Once there these kids prayed. They PRAYED. Specifically, earnestly, for the service, for the pastor, and for this stranger, that he might “know you Jesus.” They were wise enough to know that just because I am the speaker, it doesn’t mean I might not need Jesus.

So what is the temperature in your congregation?

Pray more! Pray MORE!