What if you made a list of everyone you haven’t seen at church in a while? What if you started calling these people, asking how they are doing and asking why they haven’t been to church?
Sadly, some of the people may respond, “No one noticed I left”. And they will be right because no one has, or they did but just did not act on it.
Now, here comes the sticky part, that most church people will not touch, ask them if anyone has hurt them at church. This isn’t going to make me popular but let’s face it, people hurt people and almost everyone at church is there because they need God and He has real help for our hurts.
Years ago I was in my own church hurt situation. And though I don’t need to go into the dirty details I will express that it meant so much to me when people asked why I had stopped coming. Yet there were also those who literally put there hand up in my face and said, “I don’t know what happened, nor do I want to know”. What kind of answer is that? In their defense I would say they might have been trying not to participate in gossip or bashing. Which is good, but people, be gentle with those who are hurting, that comment isn’t as cool as you think it is. Just think, you might be the link in the chain that brings them back into the church and helps them reconcile the broken relationship! Sometimes people just need a friend!
So let’s go find our lost sheep, let’s be like Jesus and find the one that’s walked off. Let’s ask the hard questions that have uncomfortable answers. Let’s get involved in the conflict management.
The other day I heard from a church-going lady about her experience after a surgery. No one called her except her pastor. What’s up with that? She was gone for four weeks, and her church isn’t very big and yes, she’s very involved. Sometimes we are so busy we aren’t really a community anymore. If your church is filled to the brim with programs but the people aren’t a priority then hit the restart button, start letting people know a change needs made. Speak up. It’s good the pastor went, or else I think she’d be church shopping.
Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.
Let’s seek out our lost sheep, find the unaccepted, bring them back into our midst, find out there needs, share with them. Let’s be the Church, and be together. Amen.