Top ministry moments — #5: When no one came to church
In September 2004, we had two Sundays when no one came to church! On September 5 and 26 in 2004, hurricanes passed close enough by that everyone had either hunkered down or left town.
I remember September 5 the best. Our new sanctuary was under construction. The steel was up but the steel roof wasn’t yet in place. We were running three Sunday worship services at the time because of our limited space: a traditional, a contemporary and a traditional. Though only a dozen years ago, smart phones didn’t exist, cell phones were kind of new on the scene, so it was hard to contact a whole congregation. So I went to church that morning just in case anyone came.
At 8:15, it wasn’t raining yet and one family showed up. At 9:30, sheets of rain pummled the building and winds ripped some of the tar paper off the new building and no one showed up. I didn’t stay to see if anyone was coming at 10:45. I went home to hunker down with my own family.
On September 26, hurricanes passing through our section of Florida from the Gulf of Mexico one again came close enough that worship just didn’t happen. I can’t even remember if I went to church that day. By God’s grace, the greatest inconvenience was no power for a few hours. After that, everything was back to normal.
Those were the memorable Sundays when no on showed up for church!