Dismissing services

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by BroChris, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. BroChris

    BroChris
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    What are your thoughts about dismissing services or prayer meetings? We have half an inch of ice on the roads right now, covered by a couple inches of snow. I know several church members are iced in, but the roads aren't clear enough for it to be safe even for those who aren't stuck in.

    We've dismissed prayer service before due to weather, but I think I'd rather continue to have service with the understanding that everyone should use their best judgment in trying to get out. What do you think?
     
  2. annsni

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    Well, there are people who feel that every time the church is open, they need to be there. They don't use judgment but instead count on the church's judgment that it's safe to get there. We don't see it that way. Additionally, for any event that the church has, most everyone has the choice whether to go or not - except the staff and leaders. So our senior pastor said that he never wants to keep the place open which would basically make the staff come in - only to have them get into an accident. Honestly, from your description, I'd cancel. What is the news saying? When the authorities are recommending people stay home - or if there is a weather emergency or something, that is the time I insist we cancel (yeah, I can insist - LOL). If the authorities say to stay off the road, why do we as a church say "come on in!"?? ;)

    The key in your post is " roads aren't clear enough for it to be safe even for those who aren't stuck in."
     
  3. Salty

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    Key word is judgement - key phrase is what Ann said. Bottom line is common sense - its a shame that common sense is not that common
     
  4. glfredrick

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    When I lived in Wisconsin, if the lot could be plowed, we were open. Here in Kentucky, we dismiss often.

    I would dismiss in your case...

    Your people have enough on their plate without having to attend church. I'd then make it my ministry priority to insure that all my people had heat, food, diapers and milk, etc. Find someone good with a 4x4 and take care of your people. Enlist brave and hearty souls to help. You will do more to further the goals of your church in this fashion than by having a meeting.
     
  5. annsni

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    Great idea!!

    Here's what I have ready to post on the church website once I get the OK. I asked if we were open tonight and it seems the decision has not yet been made but I'd guess we WILL be open. But it's getting kind of silly posting to the website every week so I came up with this:

     
  6. Scarlett O.

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    We don't get ice and snow alot here in Louisiana, but when we do - it's BAD and dangerous and foolish to leave the house.

    NO ONE here has snow tires and no one is familiar enough with driving and walking on iced over roads to get out and try to fulfill someone legalistic requirement of congregating together.

    Don't get me wrong - we GO to church here. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night without fail. I'm there - with JOY to be there - every time the doors are open. Sometimes there are other events during the week. I'm glad to go and I believe in going to church - all the time.

    Two weeks ago, we had a bad ice storm here. I have to travel over three bridges to get to church. I called the police department and asked if any of the roads were closed. They told me that their were getting ready to close the interstates and bridges. I told the policeman the route that I would be taking to church. He told me under no circumstances was I to get out.

    My church did cancel the night service, but not the morning service as many other churches did and had it posted on their facebook sites.

    A handful of people braved the weather and went to church. Good for them. I hope they were blessed. However, the minister of education said something in the church bulletin the next week that alluded to the opinion that those of us who did not brave the storm were not as spiritual and that it was hoped that our time at home was not wasted.

    That's legalism at it's finest. And frankly, it burnt me up. I decided, however, NOT to say anything about to anyone as that would only be like water on a grease fire.
     
  7. gb93433

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    Sometimes it is illegal for people to travel unless they are in an emergency vehicle. I would check that first.
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    This young minister of education needs to be educated. Maybe if you dropped a hint to your pastor how you feel, that might be sufficient.

    But Scarlett, don't you know that Sunday night Christians are more spiritual than those who only show up on Sunday morning? And we Wednesday nighters are the most spiritual of all?
     
  9. glfredrick

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    Not to change the subject (whoops...) but one of the first things I do when I assume leadership of a church is to drop Sunday night and Wednesday night services. I replace them with meaningful activity that actually grows the believers and the church in accordance with God's Word.

    The most spiritual one in my hierarchy of church activity is the one who understands that it is equally important to BE the church when scattered as well as when gathered. Giving time, permission, and solid teaching that brings families together on Sunday night instead of forcing them into a building is worth more to me than numbers on a roll.
     
  10. gb93433

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    Years ago I started pastoring a church that was left with ten people. They had three services each week. I did away with two of them and told the people to start getting to know their neighbors. After awhile almost everyone of them had started some kind of ministry in the community. Today they have 20 acres and a church building paid for. They are still growing. At the time they lost everything except ten people.

    They had a dead church with a lot of busy work but no productivity.

    "Emotion is no substitute for action. Action is no substitute for production."

    Satan likes to get the Christian busy, busy, busy, and not producing. It covers for the excuses one could make for not reaching people. Busyness is the curse of the church in America.
     
  11. gb93433

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    Are they the gnostics too?
     
  12. abcgrad94

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    Amen, gb! I wish more Christians understood this concept.

    Regarding the OP, when the weather is bad, especially at night, we cancel services. The vast majority of our members are elderly and have a hard enough time trying to drive at night, much less trying to navigate patches of black ice on the roads. The bad weather also hinders those with health issues, like myself.

    My dh used to believe we should be at church every time the door was open, even if the weather was dangerous. After all, we were young and could easily drive on bad roads. He changed his opinion one Sunday morning when he braved the weather alone (I insisted on staying home safely with the kids.) He hit some black ice and had an accident. Our pastor at the time did not even ask if dh was okay or if he needed help. He only cared about continuing services as usual.

    So, yeah, we use our own common sense now.
     
  13. Salty

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    I disagree that it was legalism
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    Salty
    It was stupidity at its best! :BangHead:
     
  14. Salty

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    Only if you go on Tue morning and Thurs PM visitation as well....
     
  15. Salty

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    Mary had a little Lamb
    It would have grown to be a sheep
    But it joined a Baptist church
    and died of lack of sleep
     
  16. michael-acts17:11

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    :applause::thumbs::sleeping_2:
     
  17. RevGKG

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    God gave us good sense. Maybe we need to use it more often. The ministry of taking care of our family is more important than risking them just to go to a church service.

    During the week our policy is that if school is out, so are we.

    On Sunday I make ever effort to be there for Sunday morning and have a service for anyone that is able to make it. But will generally cancel the evening service since driving after dark can really increase the danger of travel.
     
  18. SaggyWoman

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    Why do churches feel they are obligated to hold services in times like these? Hold it Tuesday or Wednesday instead.
     
  19. preachinjesus

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    The OP is from Illinois.

    At this point I hear Rudolph would have a difficult time getting around up there.

    Honestly, a church should have a decision making process in place before anything like this happens. The senior leadership (whatever that means) should make the decision and stick to it. As we operate the hardest decision is Sunday mornings. Everything else can be canceled with little consternation. When we cancel Sunday morning we run it through our lead team, then mass email everyone in our church database, notify local news, post it on our website, and then ask all of our staff to call their leaders to call their main people.

    Really having a plan in place is ideal. For instance, if the rapture happened today some churches would need to figure out if they were going to meet or not...


    ;)
     
  20. JohnDeereFan

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    We've cancelled two of them this year for inclement weather and cancelled four last year.

    As much as I want to see people in church and as much as think we ought to be in church when we can, I don't want to place the burden of having to risk their lives to get there on them.
     

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