This morning a pastor was lamenting with me on the phone about the dip in church attendance and attitude since summer has arrived. I immediately got an image in my mind.
Imagine standing on the diving board overlooking the deep end of the pool. As you contemplate what brand of belly-buster you are going to attempt you will begin to bounce slowly. You are adjusting to the rhythm of the board with your highly-toned, Michael Phelps, swimmer’s body. Each knee-bending bounce of your body causes the board to flex up and down and you begin to feel the pulse of the board. Your eyes squint into a steely-eyed stare, your focus sharpens, and somewhere in the distance a dog barks. Finally you have decided to try a triple corkscrew with a facedown flop and with one gigantic heave you push down on the diving board with all your force. The diving board flexes down to its limit and then rebounds to vault you into the air, higher than you ever were before.
So the Diving Board Effect means you have to go lower before you go higher.
It’s the end of June and the church crowd is in full-blown SUMMER and the attitude and attendance on the weekend is a great indicator. Take a word of advice from my 25 years of pastoring…don’t measure anything right now. It looks like it is down, but it’s just the flex of the diving board and in September you will go to heights you’ve not seen before. Sometimes you have to go down to go up. Didn’t Jesus go down on His knees at Passover before He went up on the cross at Golgotha? Down is the new up.
So get up on the diving board and try the can-opener, the cannonball and the belly-flop. You are on the diving board and this down is about to send you up.