For church leaders, Holy Week is a slog. It begins with the added pageantry of Palm Sunday, then moves through at least one additional service or as many as three. It ends with Easter Sunday, a worship service that must haul the freight of being all the Christian worship some people will experience in a year.
I feel unprepared. I feel like I’m missing something. I feel like important, meaningful things are escaping my attention and I’m not doing the things I’m supposed to do to make it work.
I’m a disciple.
It is often said that church leaders have a hard time experiencing worship, being occupied as they are with the leadership of it. That’s not quite right, especially not during Holy Week. This is the experience. For us, staggering through Maundy Thursday, then Good Friday, then maybe an Easter vigil on the way to Easter Sunday (sunrise?) is how we follow Jesus: unprepared, not-up-to-the-task, stressed out, certain we’re doing it wrong.
When I listen to these stories of disciples falling asleep, denying, and even outright betraying Jesus, though, I’m comforted that, for this week at least, church leader discipleship is just what’s called for.