It’s no joke that there are those church services we Ministry Mamas honestly would like to skip because we’re feeling down or we’re tired of dealing with the latest drama within the church congregation. You are not alone, Mama, others of us know how you feel. These things happen in big and small churches alike.
Some women experience weekly dread hours before they have to be in services on Wednesday night because of having to do the same ministry job every week . If you are in a small church you may be wondering why you go to church if you’re just going to be sitting in the nursery with your little toddler all alone each service. If you’re a mother of a baby you may be wondering why you go because you end up in the nursery every time feeding your baby or rescuing them from their separation anxiety. Or maybe you’re the church secretary and you just want to run away from all the requests and just be able to attend a church service in peace. You could be the one who is dreading that one person who says nerve grating things about your husband and you wish you could give her a piece of your mind but you can’t. Then again, your burden may not have to do with church work at all… It could be a home matter that stings and you wish one time you could have some silent peace around the house while everyone left and went to church without you.
Our thinking patterns and circumstances lead us into these feelings “I don’t want to go to church!” Don’t be tempted to be unfaithful ladies, it’s a real thing to regularly battles before church services. There’s a reason why they come up when they do and why fear and dread are closely associated with your thoughts on matters similar to these. Satan does not want you in God’s house with His people, listening to His Word. Plain and simple.
Today let’s think on the good and lovely things about church that get forgotten when those “I wish I could skip tonight” thoughts come.
Remember God’s Instructions
Hebrews 10:24,25 says, “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
The word “forsaking” in the Greek (Strong’s #G1459) means, “to leave behind some place,” “desert or leave.” We can come to the place where we wish to leave church behind us because of the heartaches and frustrations, but God does not desire this for us. Church services are when the church assembles to meet together for the common purpose of worshiping God and learning from His Word. Assembling in the verses above means, “a complete collection,” “a gathering.” I want you to think a minute about your closest family members. Imagine if one of your family members (think of your favorite) did not attend family dinners would their presence be missed around the table? If we are not assembling with our church then the collection of members is incomplete. You really are missed, even if outward pressures would cause you to believe otherwise. Church services are regular spiritual family reunions and our presence is required to make each service “complete.”
Think of a person in your church who is an encourager. Make a point to get to where they are in the next church service and see how they are doing. Fellowship with someone to help fill that heart back up with good things. Remain friendly to other people, not to exclude them, but use one service to speak to someone, preferably a lady, who has that one-on-one God-connection that will encourage you. Or schedule time to get together with someone who inspires you to continue in your spiritual walk with God. Pick someone in your church… I know some of you avoid friendships with church members, but the purpose of the local church and its members is to encourage and lift each other up. You need the people in your church as much as they need you.
Minister Gladly to the Few
Be happy to minister even to a few. I already mentioned maybe you were a Ministry Mama who ended up in the nursery every week. OR you could be the one teaching the same small amount of preschoolers or senior saint ladies every week. Minister your heart out, Honey! No matter who or how many! Don’t become weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9, 2 Thessalonians 3:13).
Don’t skimp out because it’s just a handful of kids. Give them your love (God’s love through you combined with your own personality), share the Bible like you would to a big class. Let God direct your work. God does not work any differently in a big class than He does in a small class (unless of course the teacher doesn’t have a heart for the work). What you are doing in creating a love for God’s Word may spark a love for God that will last their entire lives. I am thinking of tiny churches specifically in the state of Kansas who have produced many wonderful ministry workers across the U.S. and the globe! They didn’t come from big mega-churches, they came from little “po-dunk” towns and small Baptist churches with humble teachers and preachers of God’s Word. You do not know which child in your midst will be a “somebody” for God!
Also, don’t let yourself get distracted by doing too many other things, I know all too well the temptation to clean out a cupboard and create a grocery list while kids are occupied during a church service. Sit down and enjoy who you are ministering to. Get to know who they are and what they like to do in those quiet moments (even if it’s your own child every week). Godly seeds sown today in the place where you are may reap a bountiful harvest you never expected.
Take Time at the Altar
If you’re a regular altar worker or pianist for your church you may be accustomed to helping others with their needs and not taking your own before the Lord during the church invitation. It’s okay to pray for your needs too!
As a freshman in Bible college I would bum rides off of others to get back and forth from the college campus to the church where we attended. I often rode with 3 girls and 1 guy, two of the girls were sisters and the other two were brother and sister. They had known each other for years and had sung together often in their youth group prior to Bible college. On the ride home they would sing a song about the church altar. The song described the purpose of the church altar and invited people to come and bring their burdens to the Lord. I can imagine their voices harmonizing tonight while I write this. The message impressing upon me then was the importance of going to the altar. That first year there was not a service that went by that God did not compel me to go to the altar for some reason, and I am so glad the time was set aside during every service for me to make my heart and life right with the Lord.
The invitation is not for everyone else except you just because you may hold a special title of “Pastor’s Wife,” “Choir Member,” etc. Take some time to leave your church pew and bow before the Lord and just lay it all out . Don’t feel guilty. As a friend used to say, “The altar is not for bad people, it’s for every one.” Even ministry wives who dread going to church.
We’re in a battle gals, the spiritual warfare waged against us is often not acknowledged or correlated with the thoughts and anxieties that sometimes come over us regarding those things linked so closely with church attendance. Whatever your reason is, lay it at His feet. I know my blog posts have been longer lately. I want to give you encouragement with meat enough to help you take the steps to be successful at some of these things where you may be struggling. My new favorite repeated quote for you must be said again, “God is there…” Trust Him to help you with this problem too. Break those thinking patterns and find joy in attending church again.