Welcome to the historic First Baptist Church of Memphis, serving Memphis & the Mid-South since 1839. You will find exciting ministries, mission opportunities, and vibrant worship.

Sunday Mornings:

9:30am Sunday School
11:00am Worship

Wednesday Evenings:

5:00pm Dinner
6:00pm Bible Study

200 East Parkway North, Memphis, TN 38112 ⋅ Office: 901.454.1131



When You're Not Feeling It

Recently, after seeing a Facebook post by a particular church member, it occurred to me that I had not seen that member in church recently. I have a good relationship with this member, and so, after “liking” the post, I sent them a personal message, “Dude, where have you been?” The member answered back, “I know.  I’ve been busy, really busy. Plus, I’ve just not been feeling it. But don’t worry. I’ll be there the next two Sundays. I look forward to seeing you then.” And the member was back the next two Sundays.  

But that phrase, “I’ve not been feeling it,” has stuck with me. In thinking about that, it has occurred to me that our liturgical calendar does structure our worship in certain ways that tend to match a “feeling.”  So what happens if you’re personally celebrating, but the church is in the longing of Advent or in the sobering reflection of Lent? More importantly, I think, what happens if you are struggling in the midst of the celebration of Christmastide or Easter? If your life is falling apart, it can affect how you sing Joy to the World or Christ the Lord is Risen Today…if you even want to sing at all.

A few reflections:

  1. For all of us­—store up what you need for when you need it. The themes of scripture, worship, the Christian calendar, etc., are rich and varied.  It’s important that we acknowledge them all because we need them all.  We need to know that Jesus both cries with us (Lent) and celebrates with us (Easter), even if our need at the moment does not match the emphasis of the season. So, store up the rich themes of our faith for when you need them most.
  2. For when you’re not “feeling it”—I know it’s not always easy, but I do think it is wise, most of the time, not to let our feelings determine our faithfulness, whether that is to study, worship, service, giving, etc. When things are really hard, maybe a break is warranted. Otherwise, I have found the healthy thing is to push ourselves a bit: to get up and come on and join in. More times than not, if we’re not “feeling it,” we won’t start “feeling it” on our own. We need the help of others to get there. Remember the four friends who tore a hole through the roof to get their friend to Jesus—that’s an image of the church, my friends.
  3. For those surrounding those not feeling it—Be sensitive to the fact that others may not be where you are, that others around you may not be “feeling it.” We try to structure worship with moments of reflection, confession, petition, even in the midst of celebratory services, and vice versa.  But we won’t hit everyone, every time. And even if we do, a personal touch may be what is really needed. So you be the conduit to the Holy Spirit on those Sundays. Hit where we miss.

Worship is not just an hour on Sunday. It is everything we are and everything we do to and for one another and this world in the name of Christ. So preach with a hug. Sing with a listening ear. Pray with a meal. Extend the Peace of Christ with a text or Facebook message…even if it’s “Dude, where have you been?”

Until we all feel it…

Grace and Peace,

This article was written by Rev. Dr. David Breckenridge and originally published in the May edition of Together.

Posted by Bridget Ellis at 9:00 AM
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200 East Parkway North, Memphis TN 38112
Office: 901.454.1131 ⋅ Fax: 901.454.1135
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