The last time New Year’s Day fell on a Sunday, it was an off day. I preached to less than ten people that morning. To make it worse, a delegate from the search committee from a larger church attended that morning to check me out. I talked to him later and he said, “The morning wasn’t a complete waste, because I found a good donut shop after church.”
One day I’m going to write a book for search committees on what not to say to pastors. I have stories.
As a result of that last experience, I was a little concerned about how things would turn out today. While everyone else was obsessing over Christmas Sunday, I was wondering if anyone would turn up for church this morning.
They did. We sat in a big circle, sang a few songs, and then I asked a question: “How has God been good to you this past year?” Then I threw open the floor. It was, I think, one of the most encouraging gatherings we’ve had in a long time.
To top it off, after the service two people asked if they could be baptized.
A nice way to start the year.