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The Agony of Canceling Church

We had never done it before today. Not even when it snowed, or there was the threat of a hurricane, or even during Sharknado. But today we did. We canceled our morning services.

At 5:45 a.m. I got up and walked outside. I almost bit it on my front steps. Then I called two people from our church who live in different parts of the city. Both of them said it was icy at their place and it felt dangerous. Since we have people who drive in from 30 miles away, road conditions are really important. I still didn’t want to cancel. I came in and watched Lanie Pope, goddess of Winston-Salem weather. She said more ice was on the way. I cussed Lanie under my breath. The threat of us during church was the last straw, and we made the decision to cancel. It broke my heart.

At New Story we pride ourselves on being the church that never closes. Never. There are too many people who count on us each week for both spiritual and physical feeding. But this morning I realized some of it was just that. Pride. While I didn’t want us to close because we love getting to see everyone on Sunday, talking about how awesome Jesus is, and helping lots of people, it was more than that. We are a church of fighters that never gives up, no matter how insurmountable the odds. Canceling just doesn’t feel right, even when it is the right decision.

But maybe today I learned a little something about humility. As much as we like to control things…to make them exactly how we want…we are ultimately not the ones in control of the universe. God is. We just do our part to make the world a better place. Our homeless guests were still taken care of this morning, we still had plenty of meals packed to take out to the hungry, and keeping people safe and off the roads certainly had to be pleasing to God. Coolest of all….God still made the world spin and we’ll have the chance to worship tomorrow night at our Waughtown Campus.

If you missed church today (ours or yours), we hope you’ll join us tomorrow (Monday) at 6 p.m. for a meal (we serve a lot of people with hunger issues in the community) and then worship at 7. If you’ve never been to our Waughtown campus you’re in for a real treat. We’ll sing some great music, have communion together, and talk about the God who is in control of the universe, and who watches over us even when we’re tempted to do stupid things.


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