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:
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?