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Sunday’s Suck (Confessions of a Former Pastor)


Okay, the title of this post is a bit harsh, I know. All Sundays are not always horrible, and for a lot of people, Sunday is super.


Church for some.


A leisurely morning of coffee and bagels for others.


A day of rest.


Football (except for the dark months of mid-February through mid-August).


Maybe a BBQ with family or friends.


And, of course, Sunday is a good day to call your mother.


But Sunday is challenging for a former pastor who spent the better part of forty years focused on the “big day” every Sunday who is now retired and sitting in the pews for an hour or so.


Yes, I suppose I liked the attention.


I certainly loved teaching and leading.


Greeting folks I love, who I typically only saw once a week, was awesome too.


I am an outgoing introvert who enjoys connecting with people, even if it’s for a relatively short and shallow few moments in the lobby.


I especially missed the many hugs and smiles.


Now, I leave thirty minutes before the service starts, get there too early for my wife, sit a bit staring at the screen, make a preemptive visit to the restroom, and then I watch and engage as much as possible from the right side about seven rows from the front. (Trying not to criticize or compare.)


And almost every Sunday, as we get in the car to leave (within three minutes of the close of the service), I turn to my wife and say, “We need to find something to do here. I need to serve.” And it’s probably driven more by my need to feel needed than any profound servant-hearted response of selflessness.


We retired-former-x-use-to-be-the-center-of-attention-pastors are a strange bunch.


I own it.


God help the pastor who must pastor me now.




But here are some things I’m learning (my three points because that’s what I used to do):


1. Church isn’t about me, and it’s good for my soul to sit and listen. I’m genuinely trying to remember this more often.


2. I am honestly coming to a place (a very good place) where I’d “rather be a doorkeeper (e.g., greeter) in the house of my God” for one day rather than hang out anywhere else on Sunday. (See Psalm 84:10)


3. Whatever you or I used to do for a living doesn’t determine our worth, value, or purpose. First and foremost, I am and always will be a child of Abba, and that’s my identity. And my purpose is to love, serve, and worship Him, whether from a platform or the seventh row back on the right.


It’s 8:37 AM and time to get ready to go to church.


I know what Jesus wants from me this morning, and I wonder what He has prepared for me to learn today.


By the way, if we go to the same church, please leave the end seat open for me.


It’s another thing with me. (Smile)


Kurt Bubna

Kurt W. Bubna has published seven books, is an internationally recognized blogger, conference and retreat speaker, as well as an experienced life and leadership coach. Bubna has over forty years of experience working with individuals, teams, and a wide variety of business and non-profit organizations.