A Pastor’s Guide to Calling Off Church For Snow

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My church had to miss worship together yesterday due to snow and a slick parking lot. And let me tell you, it about drove me nuts. It was hard not being able to gather with my church family to worship. But it got me to thinking – what are the different philosophies for calling off church for snow? I’ve been able to narrow the conversation down to three different ways of approaching it. Let me know if you think my Not-So-Serious Pastor’s Guide to Calling Off Church for Snow is accurate:

1. The “We Are Having Church No-Matter-What” Way

I’ve known of those who hold this philosophy and have seen it in action. If the pastor is going to be the only one who makes, it, then that’s OK. We’re still having church.  This is when the pastor can learn who really loves Jesus and who is just pretending. If Jesus asked you, “Why should I let you into heaven?”,  you’ll now be able to bring up the time you still came to church. If a dear church member falls and breaks a hip, this pastor will tell them to get up and come inside for church. This philosophy can be summed up by this picture:

(h/t Bradford Laubinger)
(h/t Bradford Laubinger)

Conclusion: Seems to make the ritual of coming to church the most important thing.

2. The “We’re Having It, Come If You Can But Use Your Own Judgment” Way

This philosophy sounds good on the surface, but  fails to take into account the “I’m Coming No-Matter-What” church members. There are literally some church members in every church that will be there no matter what, every time the doors are open. They feel like they have to be there and will come even if it puts them in danger. Questions to consider with this philosophy are,

  • “Do all of the members live close to church?”
  • Is my congregation primarily older or younger?
  • Are you putting any members in danger that you know will feel pressured to come?

This philosophy can be summed up with the picture below:


Conclusion: Sounds good, but doesn’t care for the flock as it should. Hopefully it doesn’t take a broken hip to convince the pastor with this philosophy otherwise.

3. The “Since The Pastor Is Accountable For These People, Let’s Keep Them Safe” Way

This philosophy takes into account that the pastor stands accountable before God for his congregation. It’s better to be safe than sorry. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Conclusion: This, of course, is the right way. It just so happens that this is my philosophy (must be a coincidence). While it may drive us pastors nuts to miss a worship service, we have to remember that we are accountable if we put any church members in unnecessary danger. It can be summed up in the picture below:


What about it pastors? Are you a 1, 2 or 3?

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3 thoughts on “A Pastor’s Guide to Calling Off Church For Snow

    Terry Hayden said:
    January 27, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    My mother was of a single mind. There was NO reason for not attending. In fact many of the “old timers” considered it a sin.

      Eric Douglas responded:
      January 27, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      Good example, Terry. When I was in college, the church I attended had a guy who said in front of the congregation that he was coming to church one particular Wednesday, even if he was the only one there.

    Maxine Hackerson said:
    January 27, 2014 at 2:48 PM

    My family and I appreciate that you take into consideration how this affects everyone. We live on a dangerous hill and all of us can not get into the big 4 wheeler and if there is ice it is too tricky.
    Some of us have duties in the service and feel we have to get there if there is going to service. Ron just made a statement yesterday about how thoughtful you are in this matter. We appreciate you and we too miss worshiping with our church and look forward to the next time. Maxine

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