Browse
God Was Rejecting My Worship (Part 1)

God Was Rejecting My Worship (Part 1)

Posted July 12, 2010 by Jerod Clark

Several years ago when I was contemplating taking a job in ministry, there was one piece of advice I was given that still lingers in my mind today.  I was told working in ministry is the best way to lose your faith.

By no means am I there.  But at times I’m grumpier, more sarcastic and negative.

I started to wonder why that is.  Part of it is the nature of working in church communications.  It’s an area where there’s a lot of criticism and debate.  Too many times, I run across churches who want to just ignore communications completely.  I think that happens because looking at communications makes you really think about who you are as a church.  And that usually leads to becoming more outreach focused.  It causes you to change and that makes some people uneasy.  So instead of going though the process and moving forward, churches find it easier to stay the same.  It’s frustrating for me because those are the churches that will eventually fizzle away.

The other part of my occasional anger comes from seeing firsthand what my wife goes through at the Director of Communications at our church.  Like many other people in her role, she was brought in as an agent of change.  Fairly early on in her job other ministry leaders ignored her, stabbed her in the back and told her she should just give up and quit.  While she’s stuck in there and made a lot of positive changes, the way people treat her makes you hate to see how your church is functioning.  I’ve seen what it’s done to her physically and emotionally.

I recently started reading the book “Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic” by Anne Jackson.  She’s a Director of Church Communications who worked so hard it sent her to the hospital.  She wrote something that got me thinking. She said:

Since I had allowed spending time with God to be replaced by spending time doing things for God, my spiritual tank had been sucked dry.  When that happened, I began to lose perspective on almost every area of my life.  My defenses were down and I allowed myself to start believing the little lies the enemy would throw into my path.

For me, the biggest lie I started believing was I couldn't worship in my church anymore.   I had a critical eye for everything.   I knew the fights going on.  Because I saw the behind the scenes stuff, I lost respect for the worship leader, pastor and others.

What a pitiful attitude, right?

I started looking for answers for how I could come out of this funk.  And as He often does, God started speaking to me through scripture, a conversation with a co-worker and a weekend with a fill-in pastor and worship leader.

Then a couple of weekends ago, I had one of those moments where I felt God looking me strait in the face saying here’s what I’ve been trying to tell you.  My pastor was doing a sermon of different types of worship styles, a debate in many churches.  The simple question leading off the teaching was, "Is God accepting the worship you're giving him?"  I assumed my answer was yes.

My pastor went through times in the bible when God rejected worship, even killed people, for not following what He said. One example was the story from 1 Chronicles 13 where Uzzah was helping move the Ark of the Covenant.  As animals were pulling the cart with the ark, they slipped and the ark started to fall.  Uzzah put up his hands to stop it from hitting the ground, a clear act of worship, but God had said only certain people could touch the ark.  Because of that, He struck down Uzzah.

My pastor made the case that in similar ways if we're not doing what God want us to do during the week, or if we’re being overly critical of people during worship, God doesn't accept our worship.  We're letting ourselves get in the way of worshiping God.

Wow.

So as the sermon ended and the music began again, I found myself completely in tears singing a song I’d typically be so-so about displayed in a font I could barely read.  In a moment where I’d typically be critical, I was in complete worship of God.

The song was “The Heart of Worship” and the lyric that hit home was, “I'm sorry Lord for the thing I've made it.  When it's all about You.”

(Click here for part 2.)

Filed under: Communications

About the Author

Jerod Clark

Jerod joined ReFrame Media in 2007 and built Church Juice from scratch. He poured all his passion for branding, marketing, and messaging into the ministry, publishing e-books, blog posts, and speaking at conferences to help churches energize their communications. He also served as ReFrame’s in-house graphic designer. Before beginning his work at Church Juice, Jerod was a local TV news reporter. In 2016, Jerod stepped away from the ministry to pursue interests in marketing and communications on new horizons.

Don't miss a post

Join our email list

Comments (2)

  • KP
    2:04 PM
    Tue, Jul 13, 2010

    Excellent, excellent post Jerod. I’m guilty of most of what you’ve experienced. I was just talking to a coworker yesterday about how hard it is to just worship God each weekend. It all starts when a smiling volunteer hands me a bulletin on the way into worship. ARGH! I just worked on that all week long. It’s the spark that makes me think of the preceding work week and all the headaches it entailed. Looking forward to hearing more.

  • Jerod Clark
    1:38 PM
    Thu, Jul 15, 2010

    Thanks KP.  It’s a constant battle but keep pushing through!

Leave a Comment

Share your thoughts about this blog post with us.
All fields are required.

Recent Posts

Marketing Is Not a Bad Word
Marketing Is Not a Bad Word
2

Posted July 19, 2018 by Chris Hunt

Words like marketing sometimes turnoff pastors, elders, and board members. Isn’t marketing a business term? What does marketing have to do with church? Marketing is not a bad word. Marketing is about making a straight path so that your ministry happens.
I Notcied a Typo inn the Bullitin: Let’s Talk About Making Mistakes
I Notcied a Typo inn the Bullitin: Let’s Talk About Making Mistakes
4

Posted July 10, 2018 by Dave Hartwell

As church communicators, our work is out in the open: we write web copy, bulletin announcements, social media posts, and mass emails. Every once in a while, we make a mistake. Mistakes are inevitable; how we deal with them isn't.
Juicy Website Winner 2018: Hope Church NYC
Juicy Website Winner 2018: Hope Church NYC
0

Posted July 4, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Hope Church in New York City is The Juicys’ 2018 winner for the website category. Here’s what makes Hope’s website great.
The Power of Facebook Events
The Power of Facebook Events
0

Posted June 25, 2018 by Ernesto Alaniz

Facebook events are a cheap and easy way to get your church’s event in front of your entire community.
6 Social Media Tips for Your Church
6 Social Media Tips for Your Church
0

Posted June 21, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Social media is a great tool that churches can use to build and expand relationships, as well as a tool for outreach. Here are six tips to help your church utilize social media better.
5 Ways to Use MailChimp for Church Marketing
5 Ways to Use MailChimp for Church Marketing
0

Posted June 19, 2018 by Robert Carnes

There are lots of platforms your church can use to promote its message and mission. MailChimp is just one, but has many different uses. This is an overview of some of its most useful features.
Congratulations to This Year’s Juicy Winners!
Congratulations to This Year’s Juicy Winners!
0

Posted June 14, 2018 by Bryan Haley

We recently concluded The Juicys award season and are excited about these five church communication award winners!
The Reason Your New Process Won’t Work
The Reason Your New Process Won’t Work
0

Posted June 12, 2018 by Jeanette Yates

Having a communications tool for your staff is essential because collaborating without a system, process, or tool is complicated and inefficient. Before choosing a tool, ask yourself (and your team) these questions.
The Juicys Award Show
The Juicys Award Show
0

Posted June 4, 2018 by Bryan Haley

Join us for The Juicys Award Show!
Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps: Which One Is Better?
Mobile Websites vs. Mobile Apps: Which One Is Better?
0

Posted May 24, 2018 by Jason Caston

While it is a given that any organization has to have a mobile accessible presence, many churches are unaware of whether a mobile website or an app is the better choice.