On Sundays, back when we used to gather for worship on Sundays (do you remember those good ol’ days?), I’d grab a McDonald’s coffee, then proceed to Donna’s Donuts for a sour cream donut. I’m pretty sure that Donna’s sour cream donuts will be on the buffet line in heaven? Before 6AM, I was in my office, looking over my sermon and praying for the day.
Usually, one by one, the pastors would start to arrive. Nate and Pastor Enosh first– the rest soon followed. At 8:30 we assembled in the conference room for prayer and any updates. Doc Anthony sat in the big chair because, well, he’s Doc Anthony. Generally, I sat on one side and Jon Gildner on the other and all the pastors mixed around. I love ministering alongside these people.
Following prayer, back in my office, I grab my microphone, iPad, service orders, prayer requests, two bottles of water (one per service), and place it all on the front pew in the sanctuary. I tell Nate and Enosh how my sermon should end (Holy Spirit willing) so they are ready to lead the closing song when the time comes.
By then, the first folks for the choir service begin to trickle in. I’d make my way around the sanctuary, greeting the early birds, before heading out to the lobby. Usually a couple of ladies (Sandy Dodge and Jean Robertson) are already at the Information desk. They’ve put candy in the great big dish. I’d grab a Tootsie Roll and ask them about their week.
On my way to the Central Café, I’d say “welcome” to anyone within view. Larry Senter usually is somewhere between the info desk and the café and we talk about which losing Detroit sports team lost on Saturday. I’d greet the greeters and valet parkers at the east doors. The baristas in the café are already making coffee and a few folks are sitting in the booths. I welcome them and move into the Chenoweth Center. At the round table in the northwest corner is a group of men. Doc calls it the “table of knowledge” or something like that. They usually give me great (cough cough) advise about life.
Ron and Cathy Sadler are setting up the room for the 80+ people who’ll show up for Ron’s lesson. As I leave the Chenoweth center, I’d stick my head into the kitchen and say “hi” to Jerry Spears who’s making coffee, then greet the 4 South door greeters. Some running-a-tad-late choir members are coming through the doors. I greet them too, making them even more late. As I head toward our nurseries, I’d greet another half dozen folks in the back hallways. Pastor Wendy and the nursery crew are going over their duties for the day, when I’d stick my head in the room and thank our awesome nursery staff for the great job they do loving our youngest worshippers. Then it’s back to the sanctuary.
Coming in through the platform door, I enter by the brass section. We have some great musicians in the orchestra. I say “Hello” to Toni Webb our percussionist and proceed to greet as many folks as humanly possible. At 9:28 or so, the announcements have started and I’m in my familiar spot on the front row. Plug in my microphone (hopefully), the choir service is about to begin.
The next two services and three hours fly by. The music is great. The prayer times are wonderful. Sometimes I like the sermons. Sometimes they stink. The people of Central are kind even after a stinker. I have yet to be hit by a rotten tomato. Afterwards, I hang out in the foyer until it’s time to go home for Karla’s tasty Sunday dinner.
Another great Sunday morning is in the books.
Why write about my former Sunday morning schedule? I miss it all! Every bit of it. I really miss you! I can’t wait until we are together again. In the meantime, keep looking to Jesus. Keep praying for Central Church, me and all the pastors. Keep joining our livestreamed services and keep inviting your friends to tune in too. Keep giving. Keep loving. Keep caring. Keep serving. Keep being the wonderful people of God!
For though I am absent in body, yet I am with you in spirit, and I rejoice to see your morale and the firmness of your faith in Christ. As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. – Colossians 2:5-7, NRSV