Preaching to an empty sanctuary is certainly a difficult task, but for now, it’s the reality. So for Easter, a congregation in Mississippi surprised their pastor with a gesture that hopefully made it just a little bit easier him.
Over the last few weeks, Larry Duncan, pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Lake, has been preaching to a room of empty pews, focused only on an iPad in the center aisle streaming his sermons to Facebook.
This past Sunday, though, Duncan was in for a surprise.
Members of the Salem congregation sent the church photos of themselves and their families, which were then taped to the pews for Duncan to see as he delivered his Easter message.
Duncan was obviously dumbstruck by the thoughtful gesture and teared up as he walked through the pews of the normally full sanctuary, looking at every picture of his fellow churchgoers.
“We thought that might make it a little better,” one of the members of the worship team said to the pastor. “Now you’ve got somebody to preach to,” added another.
This has been a uniquely difficult season for pastors and ministers who are, like all of us, enduring the coronavirus pandemic in real time while also facing the needs of congregations they cannot see.
Please be in prayer for your local church leaders.