As I compose this article, it’s 55 degrees in Tampa, Florida, and I'm sitting in front of my laptop wearing a sweater and sweatpants with bowl of chicken noodle soup! Let me first say that I NEVER get sick! But, last Sunday, after the “after-church kickback” with my church friends, I was attacked by an insurgence of germs I was not prepared for. When I got home, I immediately climbed into bed. Upon awaking on Monday morning, I got up with the goal of getting ahead for the week and, as usual, went to the office. In that moment, it hit me; I was SICK!
Now, it's Tuesday. I've called my Senior Pastor and asked for permission to work from home. As I crawled out from under my blanket, one question overshadowed all the preparation and planning ahead of me for my day, "How did this happen to me?" After some intense thought and reflection, I have reached an overwhelming conclusion-- "Church Made Me Sick!"
Don't get me wrong, I know that's a strong statement. Let me assure you, I love the church, both the institution and the people it is called to support. But, after the past 24 hours of reflection, I realized that there are things we do in church that cause germs to be transported from "heart to heart and breast to breast!"
So, do you want to make it to Monday without the sniffles? Here are some few things to consider.
The sermonic moment is intense! As preachers, we pour ourselves out and give our all to proclaim God's Word with His voice, His reflection, and His spirit. Preaching is physically challenging and requires a commitment to give it all you've got. But, you must be prepared for the aftermath of sweating, open pores, and shaking hands! You should change your underclothes, wrap up, and cover your head when changing climates!
Avoid blasting the air conditioner while you're preaching.
Singers and Preachers
Beware the microphone! Microphones are a cesspool of germs and bacteria. Compel your audio ministry to go the extra mile to clean and disinfect the microphone globes regularly. Doing so will keep the germs down and the mics fresh!
Shaking hands and hugging are essential during the fellowship moment!
Shaking hands, giving hugs, and kissing babies are some of my favorite church moments. However, as heartwarming as these exchanges can be, the truth is that you never know who's sniffling on the sneak! Some hand sanitizer in your pocket will help to minimize the exchange of germs.
I super love Children's Church! Unfortunately, the babies carry germs that your immune system is not armored to fight. I definitely suggest having a tube of antibacterial wipes with you at all times . . . just in case!
There is more to that wafer than meets the eye! After placing a wafer into all of those hands, please use some hand sanitizer immediately after leaving the altar area, and some soap and water after the benediction!
The Ultimate Remedy is REST!
Our congregations, families, and communities depend on us! We can't afford to be under the weather. What I've learned over the past 48 hours is there is no substitute fo rest! I really had to take off my superman costume to deal with the reality of Clark Kent! Truthfully, when you're blowing your nose, taking meds, and guzzling hot tea, it's impossible to focus on work. Embracing ministry as a lifestyle often means that it just doesn't stop. You never take a break and you try your best to stay ahead. But, the real truth of the matter is that your body needs rest to keep up with your mental activity.
So, just when I started feeling “some kind’a way” about my new "church sick" discovery, the church came through for me! My church friends brought me every elixir and home remedy ever imagined! I never thought about drinking warm grapefruit juice on purpose! Well, I suppose since I have had the strength to write this article, I can get back to work. LOL! Remember to take care of yourself during this weather change so you can give God your best service . . . without the sniffles!