Monday Confessions from a Pastor

Dear God,

It’s  the Monday after Easter Sunday, but I am sure you’re already aware of that fact.  I hope you were pleased with what happened at church yesterday. By the way, thanks for being there. Church is always better when you attend. I hope you felt honored and I did not hinder people from meeting you personally.  I realize I am already rambling here, but you know how tanked I feel on Sunday afternoons and on most Mondays.  Why can’t I be one of those pastors who are hyped after a service instead of one who feels like a can of Spam?

It was great to see 102 people baptized last night and hundreds more praying to follow you during the morning gatherings. I hope you felt honored and trust that the spotlight was on you more than those of us on the stage.

Lord, help me not to notice the empty seats more than I see the faces of people sitting in the occupied chairs. I do want to pray for new people to attend New Life and fill the empty seats, but I also want to be a good shepherd to those who are there.

Lord, help me to not be so aggravated when people give me immediate criticism about the Sunday talk or wait for me off the stage to point out one minor detail I got wrong. They should wait a day or so to give me their opinion but they don’t and probably never will. Forgive them Lord, because they have no idea how vulnerable and tired I feel right after a service. They have never been on a stage in front of people talking about life and death issues. When you give them that chance, I am sure they will then be more considerate about when to give their feedback.

Lord, help me not feel like every Sunday has to be “the best Sunday ever, in all of church history.” Not every talk has to be epic and not every worship service has to be “off the chain.” Remind all of my pastor friends on Twitter not to hype every weekend like it is the Super Bowl of all church weekends, every single week.  You know that every Sunday service is not that great, because you attend their churches, too.  Help us to build disciples with our weekend gatherings and not to create consumers who expect a new and improved product every weekend.

Lord, thanks again for allowing me to pastor New Life.  Keep me focused on the important things and help me to ignore my own carnality. Thanks for the time. I hope to talk to you again real soon.

Love,

Brady

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13 Comments

  1. FYI! Here was the conversation in our vehicle as we drove waited to get out of the parking lot at New Life on Sunday (09/27/2009):

    Me: “man that was an awesome message Pastor Brady brought! The “Holy Spirit = Fire”; “Church = Fireplace” analogy was so on the mark!

    My lovely wife Pamela: “I have never heard him bring a bad message! I so appreciate how he makes the Word come alive.” (Attending NLC since August ’09)

    My 19 year old daughter: “He is so easy to understand and he is so real! And he uses a ton of scripture. I really like that!) (She has been attending NLC since Jan ’09 – came for DLA)

    Have a great day!

    MH

  2. Pastor Brady,

    Thank you for your honesty.

    I once heard it said that sincere preaching can be as grueling as an eight hour work day. So, feeling like a ‘can a spam’ is a good thing…just be sure not to eat the spam.

    Feeling like a ‘can of spam’ shows you walked away concerned with whether or not you said what needed to be said (not a subjective examination of self, but an objective examination of what was said).

    Feeling like a ‘can of spam’ also shows that you walked away concerned with whether or not God’s people heard what was said.

    I believe having confidence in one’s flesh causes one to walk away indifferent, but having the heart of God causes one to walk away concerned and all ministers of the Gospel should be faced with such concerns. How can anyone with a heart for God’s truth and a heart for God’s people walk away from preaching and be indifferent?

    There are three things about ministers of the Gospel whose hearts are sincere. Their hearts are broken for those who turn from God’s way (Phil 3:8). Their hearts are grieved for those who miss God’s best (Ps 119:136). Their hearts are anxious for those who hear God’s truth (1 Cor 2:3).

    Ministers of the Gospel are in a good place when this is where their hearts are. Lucky to be in that ‘heart place’? No. Blessed? Absolutely, because having that ‘heart place’ allows for a ‘hearth place’…as in a fireplace…

    Ecclesiastes 1:8a says, ‘For with much wisdom comes much sorrow.’ It’s funny how comforting those words can be.

    One word…’Pounce’

  3. Brady, As you’re possibly aware, I was a pastor for 20 years prior to coming to NLC ten years ago. We appreciate you and your heart more than you will know! Having been assaulted by the Monday morning blues a few hundred times myself, I pray for you today – for a GOOD day, and know that we love and appreciate you and Pam! You are a great pastor and thank you for your obedience in saying yes to this (our) assignment – NLC!

  4. thank you Pastor Brady for your realness and honesty. It helps me. Not every service is “amazing”, most overused word to describe a church service on twitter.

    God Bless Pastor Brady for talking and helping other pastors like me.

    First big church pastor who isn’t affraid to be vulnerable and not talk down to smaller churches.

  5. Thanks, Brady, for this honest and transparent post. You have expressed my feelings on many Mondays perfectly.

    From what I can see from afar through your blog and podcasts, you are doing a great job at New Life. Peace be with you everyday…

    Your friend from the “other” New Life (New Life Assembly, Woodstock, AL)

    Chad Payne

  6. Pastor Brady– We switched to Sunday nite service because it is better for our family schedule…so some of those empty seats in the morning are ours. But we loved your message yesterday…I even called someone in Germany to make sure they listened online. It had some important points for something our family is going thru right now. Thank you for all you do for us–you are a good pastor!

  7. From a fellow pastor who almost collapsed after Sunday evening service from exhaustion, thank you, thank you.

  8. Thanks, Brady. I’m a pastor too and could relate to every single one of your observations. Amen, and amen!

  9. Dear Pastor Brady, I would encourage you in the days you feel like toast. I believe for those who preach or prophesy, both The Word of God and His Heart, that
    they will digest the word, first eat the scroll themselves; sometimes it is like honey and sometimes it is bitter..
    I think as His Church, His Word will mess with us dramatically….it is called the circumcision of the heart, that works a very deep work in each of our hearts. May each of our hearts be prepared to be a dwelling place for His fire, His passion. I do believe it will be a long cold winter, and I pray that God will kindle a fire in each of our hearts. Lord may we be vessels prepared….to carry the very presence of Christ….Thankyou for your leadership.

  10. Pastor Brady…I must say thank you! Your message on Sunday was wonderful and so on time! Your obediance ushered in the Holy Spirit who was there to do a work in God’s people that day! I know because I was one of them!

    You talked about our church being a place where people come to God and are healed….and Sunday I was healed of a pain from my past that has haunted me for years! For the first time I have finally caught a glimpse of understanding of God’s love for me! WOW…what an amazing love!

    Thank you Pastor Brady for how humble and wonderful you and Pam are! It is a blessing to have a pastor who is real with us and not afraid to be real!!! I still say it’s cool to see you or Pam in the Kiss-n-go line at school!

    I pray Pastor Brady that God continues to give you the strength and courage to face each week with our church! A church of our size cannot be easy to pastor, but God has placed you and Pam with us for a reason and a purpose! Thank you for the great work!

  11. Pastor Brady,

    Every week, your messages a very inspiring and get to me. I know this is no excuse but technology has made it easy to attend church remotely. If we miss church, we can always download the podcast or videos of the sermons. In some cases I’ve listened to your messages over and over again. When I need some encouragement, I’ll watch the videos again.

  12. Brandee Knowles

    October 11, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Love each and every sermon you teach! I go home, I take on the week with one or two nuggets of gold from your sermon, and I reach for my bible to bury it into my heart, so that no weapon can be formed against me!
    Blessings to you and your family. I am one of your neighbors and a New Lifer as well. We came to Colorado 3 years ago, 3 months before our previous pastor left NLC. It was a really hard time, even for newbies! Also, every church we have attended, we have had a relationship with our pastor, so NLC was a really different experience for us. But, we were and still are drawn to what God is doing at NLC and we love our Small Groups that keep us connected to the family of Christ.

    We will continue to pray for you and your family, for strength and wisdom. You are doing a great work for the Lord.

  13. Humility. Thanks for wearing it so well.

    Dean

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