Should you ever cancel church due to weather?

We never have before and probably never will again at Living Water, but today was the exception that proves the rule.

The storm began around 6:00 am.  The snow came down in huge, wet flakes and accumulated rapidly.  By 9:00 am the roads were a mess.  My mom couldn’t get up the hill out of her subdivision.  Regardless, we NEVER cancel church. 

Upon arriving at church, we discovered that the company we have contracted to plow our parking lot hadn’t been there.  All that white stuff on this side of the sign?  That’s snow where our driveway should be.


The driveway is steep and narrow.  Even with our front-wheel drive van with traction control I couldn’t get up the driveway into the parking lot.  This was only an hour before the service was to begin.  So, we really had no choice but to cancel.

With a second effort of aggressive winter driving learned as a youth in Des Moines, I did finally get up the driveway.  Laura posted a notice on our web site and started calling as many people as we could to let them know.  Laura was still planning to preach to the empty room for the sermon podcast.  While we were getting ready, I snapped this picture of the still raging storm out the back window of the church.


And then two cars made it up the driveway and stopped in the parking lot.  The first car was one of our families coming for worship.  It was one of the girls’ birthday and she invited her grandparents, who arrived in the second car.  Cool!  So we canceled, but still had the service with Laura, me, and two carloads of people who didn’t know we canceled.  So I guess we really will never cancel church.  Even if it’s canceled, we still have it!

If you’re curious, read Laura’s recap of the service and check out the podcast here.

2 thoughts on “Should you ever cancel church due to weather?

  1. Kirk Longhofer February 18, 2008 / 1:30 pm

    Well… we really can’t cancel, since we’re live on TV. We have a backup in place in case of disaster, but when weather gets nasty, it’s a great opportunity for us. We have many, many more and new viewers checking out our services when the weather is nasty.I was so impressed earlier this year, when many, many churches were cancelling, we didn’t. We didn’t have many people in the pew. But my 12 production volunteers fought their way it. And so did 60 or so choir members.

  2. Peter Schott February 19, 2008 / 2:29 pm

    Well, I grew up in a church with < 100 (active) members and we were located on the top of a hill and actually weren't close to any of our members. (They built near a new subdivision that filled with people of other denominations. 🙂 )That being said, we definitely canceled services a couple of times because nobody could get to the church. That usually meant sledding time for me after the work was done and admittedly we only had a couple of really bad storms that caused the roads to be blocked. Normally there wasn’t really enough snow to stop people from getting there if they wanted to. It did provide a good excuse for quite a few, though.

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