I love following pastors on Twitter and Facebook. In these years of temporarily being outside of pastoral ministry, it gives me great joy to pray for pastors who continue to preach, teach, lead, and serve week after week after very long week.

But Saturdays make me chuckle.

Beginning on Saturday afternoons, the tweets start rolling in. Tweets that sound a bit like a pep rally:

  • Stoked about worship this weekend! Don’t miss out! It’s going to be epic!
  • So pumped about what God is going to do tomorrow in worship!
  • Can’t wait to deliver the message that God gave me for our church tomorrow!
  • Get up, get to church, God is going to do great things tomorrow!
  • AMAZING testimony to start our service on Sunday! Trust me, you do NOT want to miss this!

Super Ordinary

A pastor friend and I were having lunch not long ago and he said, “Sometimes, I want to get on Twitter and say to all our church members: I’m super stoked about services this weekend! It’s going to be the most super ordinary Sunday ever!”

There’s something to be said for online enthusiasm for worship services. Would that we be more enthusiastic about gathering with God’s people and hearing from God’s Word! We go to worship with a sense of expectation and anticipation, yes. We attend church services expecting to hear from God, prayerfully open to whatever changes He might make in our lives.

But let’s face it. Not every message, every song, every service will be spectacular.

Brothers, we are not hype-machines.

That’s why all the Twitter buzz wore out my pastor friend with the pressure of making every weekend “an incredible worship service you will never forget.” That’s a treadmill that exhausts the faithful preacher. Where did we get the idea that every worship set has to be more powerful than the week before, that every sermon has to be a home run, that every experience has to be immediately life-changing?

Not only that, but when you really do have a big event going on, it’s hard to top your rhetoric from every other weekend. If all your Saturday tweets are ecstatic escapes into ALL CAPS territory, you’ll have a hard time expressing how super, really, amazingly, incredibly stoked you are that 15 people are getting baptized the next day. Adjectives run out at some point, as do Twitter characters.

God Meets Us in the Ordinary

So, my pastor friends, please be encouraged by a few simple truths.

First, let’s not overemphasize the dramatic results of one incredible worship service and underemphasize the long-term results of faithful, ordinary church-going. The week in, week out routine of gathering with God’s people and listening to God’s Word is not a waste, even if your people walk out the door on a given Sunday and can’t recall the second point in your sermon. It’s the cumulative effect of our practices that matters, not the spectacular experience of the moment. Sometimes, it’s not one sermon that changes a life, but 1000 sermons.

Secondly, be thankful for the days when God performs open-heart surgery on us through His Word. But remember that most Sundays, God is extending health to us through the faithful proclamation of His Word and the fellowship of believers who stir us up to love and good deeds.

Third, let’s not downplay the ordinary Sundays – the beauty of God’s service to His children on non-holiday weekends, the Sundays that don’t stand out on the calendar. After all, it’s the God who meets us in the ordinary means of grace that we can get super stoked about.

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Comments:


15 thoughts on “Get Ready for the Most Super Ordinary Sunday Ever!”

  1. Excellent Trevin. The fact of the God of the universe adopting criminals into His own family after paying their sentence for them will never be topped. I don’t know what to think of people who can’t get excited about that.

    You say: “First, let’s not overemphasize the dramatic results of one incredible worship service and underemphasize the long-term results of faithful, ordinary church-going. The week in, week out routine of gathering with God’s people and listening to God’s Word is not a waste, even if your people walk out the door on a given Sunday and can’t recall the second point in your sermon. It’s the cumulative effect of our practices that matters, not the spectacular experience of the moment. Sometimes, it’s not one sermon that changes a life, but 1000 sermons.”
    Exactly. It reminds me of the folks who spend 50 grand on a wedding only to be divorced 5 year later. Nuthin wrong with a big fancy wedding, but it does not make a marriage. A daily life in the word and on your knees together while competing over who can be the greatest servant of the other in Christ makes a marriage.

  2. Michael Herrington says:

    Good reminder. Thank you.

  3. Nail duly hit upon its head. Perfect timing too. Shall we all get “pumped up” and “super excited” for Lent?

  4. Gralefrit says:

    Great reminder, thank you. I suspect all this church service hype language is also linked to the super-testimony types who get all the attention (adoration?), while all along I think God’s glory is seen more clearly in the ordinary Christian “plodder”. Such a one is a marvel to behold far more than super-sinner turned super-saint.

  5. I hate to say it, but the kind of rhetoric you’re talking about has always been grounds for “unfollowing” and “hiding” for me on social media. There is a fine line between celebrating worship of our Savior, and celebrating “our own brand” of that worship in a way that makes the object of our worship insignifcant and an afterthought.

  6. Jeff Mingee says:

    Trevin, thanks for posting this. I’m confident a lot of us have been feeling and thinking this way for a while. I am curious, what biblically drives you to think this way? Paul seemed to have some doxological moments that we rightly mark with an exclamation point. And surely we never take the resurrection as ordinary. But, I don’t think that translates as the hyped tweets we see. So, what do you think? How does the Word drive our anticipation and tweets towards Sunday mornings? If Timothy had Twitter while serving the local church… what would he tweet on Saturday night? Thanks again for the great post.

    1. Trevin Wax says:

      Great question, Jeff. The resurrection is extraordinary, no doubt. And yes, we find lots of exclamation-point-sounding exaltation in Paul’s letters. Like I said in the post, I hope that we will always seek to be enthusiastic about our worship together, where we gather under God’s Word and hear from Him.

      So it’s not tweeting about Sunday that I’m talking about (I do that often when I’m teaching on Sundays). It’s the kind of tweet that seems grounded in an attempt to rev up or generate enthusiasm by overpromising what a particular Sunday experience may be like. We tend to underestimate the power of our “ordinary” practices. It’s not every morning that God hits you with a lightning bolt of insight during your Quiet Time. But months of morning Bible reading shapes you in ways that may not seem spectacular, but are still just as important. Hope that makes sense.

      1. Susan says:

        To add an imperfect analogy to things–how about a Sunday as “ordinary” as good, fresh bread? It’s not chocolate or fine wine, but it’s still very good, and more nourishing long-term.

        Good article. Just to reassure you, there are *some* of us who speak and post in a more low-key fashion. :)

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  8. Mrs M M Reynolds says:

    Here is a comment from a sister! I do so appreciate the every day God we have, He, is spectacular. He, saves just any day of the week. I love it. I look forward to the ordinary Sunday, preaching, singing together, prayers, talking together. Together as children with our heavenly Father. Pastors should be able to look forward to the same Sunday as us. They will be more tired and to some extend tense, But it is God who does! And God often, most often, does things quietly, but well. Very well.

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is managing editor of The Gospel Project at LifeWay Christian Resources, husband to Corina, father to Timothy, Julia, and David. You can follow him on Twitter. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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