The sermon I needed to hear

I have the best job in the world.

One of the greatest privileges of being a pastor is witnessing congregants living out their lives of faith in significant, concrete ways.

Last Sunday, I arrived at the church for worship in despair. It had been a devastating week in the world. I had prepared yet another sermon that felt risky yet inadequate. There was an overstuffed suitcase in the backseat of my car, signaling my imminent departure for a weeklong writing workshop that I was more than anxious about.

The moment I left the sanctuary of my office, I was bombarded with questions.

“Hey, can I talk to you after worship about this idea I have?” Donna asked me. (The name is not changed, and you’ll see why.)

For once, I actually said the first thing that came to mind – a rarity for introverts, you know.


No, I don’t have time. I’m leaving right after worship to have coffee with some of our new folks and then I’m headed straight to the airport to fly to Ohio for a workshop.

Donna persisted.

She followed me into the main office as I was grabbing tape for someone else.

“I need to ask you this now,” she insisted.

Donna then proceeded to unravel this beautifully knit together plan that involved applying for a grant to work together with people of color in our community on a service project that would foster relationships and impact the lives of those who benefit from the work we did side-by-side.


Thank God I showed up to worship that morning, because that was the sermon I needed to hear.