A few months ago in January my church had nearly a whole month of various guest speakers. Unlike some churches who surprise the congregation with a guest speaker, my church posted the list of who was speaking each Sunday.
Guest speakers scare me. I wonder if guest speakers scare others because it always seems like attendance is a bit down whenever it is known that someone else is speaking. I even threatened to "boycott" all of January but I know that is wrong. I even told my pastor of my "boycott" and he listed an author of book I really liked and asked if it would make a difference if he arranged for him to preach. Delighted I said yes, it would make a difference. I'd definitely come to hear him. Which made me feel a bit bad, because I realized I'm a consumer christian. It's all about me and what I wanted.
I like to say and think that church is not just about good preaching, though I admit that is a huge draw for me. I know that church is about community; a place to come and interact, share and praise God together. Do I come to church just for my own benefit? Do I come to serve? Do I come hoping that I'll be an encouragement to another? Do I come to worship and glorify God?
Turns out that the month of January was filled with guest speakers that really made an impact in my life, some I'd love to hear again. The "theme' of the month was change and indeed, every week things changed a bit, away from the familiar and the routine.
I will still admit that I inwardly groan when I hear a guest will be preaching on Sunday. I look forward to Thursday when my church sends out its email stating the message title and who is preaching. (oh, the correct term I guess is "communicating") I can say that I'll go regardless of who the speaker is but I do sigh with relief when I know my pastor is preaching and things won't be too radically different.
Although, in my church, I never fully know what to expect! And I actually for the most part, do enjoy that aspect of church.