Why I Love Cleaning Up Trash In Our Sanctuary…



First let me just say I’m not 100% sure what my congregation is doing while I’m talking… But it appears they are having a trash party! Where is it coming from?

Are they bringing it from home? Do they grab a bag of trash from a dumpster somewhere and “make it rain” while I’m pouring my guts out? I mean the stage lights are bright. I can’t see anything. So for all I know… They’re having a blast!

And we have a rather large sanctuary and crowd. So by the time they are headed out to lunch… I’d imagine they have to walk on top of it all! I’m convinced I’ll find a body in the pile one day!

I’m kidding. They really aren’t bad at all! Just your normal wear and tear from people being in the building! And our people love and respect our building. So they mostly pick up after themselves. Just little things are missed. 

Whatever the case may be… I LOVE IT!

Here’s why:

1. It’s a quick reminder of why I do what I do?

I felt called to serve people. And not when it’s convenient for me. All the time. 

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day actions of running a church. Going from meeting to meeting. Planning. Strategizing. Counseling. Growing leaders. 

Stopping for an hour to pick up trash is a reminder that God didn’t call me to sit behind my desk and crunch out great sermons… But to love and serve the people he has chosen for us. 

2. I get to read all the funny notes people are writing on the bulletins!

There is nothing more humbling then to think people are taking great notes only to realize they are making lunch plans with their husbands! 

You’ll learn a lot about yourself. If you thought you did an awesome job that week… Think again! If you were wondering if you shouldn’t  have worn that outfit… I guarantee the answer is written out there. 

And seriously… The greatest information comes from the “Youth” section! They are downright mean and hilarious at the same time. 

Disclaimer: If you’re a sensitive person, stay away from the trash! You’ve got to know who you are before you venture down that road!

3. I take the time to pray over everyone who sits in those seats. 

I may not know all of their names. Or even know all of their faces… But you can count on the fact that I’m praying over them. Each person who comes in that sanctuary is dealing with something. Big or small… It doesn’t matter. 

I love walking up and down the rows asking God to simply meet the needs of the people. The people I love and care deeply about. 

That they may find comfort or peace. Healing or restoration of a marriage. Financial freedom or that a son or daughter would stop rebelling. Whatever the case may be… The people who sit in our seats have been covered in prayer. 

I know this may not work for every Pastor or Leader who reads this… But let me challenge you today. 

Remember why you started. And as the job grows… make time to get back to that reason.

Love people. Serve people. 

You’re no better than anyone else! And you’re people will be grateful!