Abigail and Dolley readers it has become all the rage to write open letters to the church about why people are leaving. They all go something like this:
"Dear Church - I am leaving you because.... you are hypocrites, your music stinks, you have a big stage show, you don't have a big stage show, you haven't kept up with the times, my needs are not getting met, somebody was mean to me, you ask for money, you stand up for social issues that make people not like you, your ushers wear suits... wah wah wah, whatever."
As a member of a small body, this is what I'd like to say in response:
Dear Church Shopper,
We are not an Entertain Me Church, we are a serving church. We are the Body of Christ, a working body that feeds people and clothes them. We support missions and missionaries. We love each other and we love the Lord. If one of our members is having a problem, we gather around them and pray but we also give them a gift card to the grocery store and let them borrow a church van while their car is in the shop. If you would like to come and join us, you are welcome.
We will pray for you and with you. We will call you by name on Sunday. We will invite you to Bible Study, Men's Group, Women's Group, Youth Group, Prayer Group, and Kid's Church. We will ask you to come and join us for a potluck, somebody might even bake you a gluten free cake. We would love to have you.
We won't however, overhaul our entire system because your old church used to do it that way. We are sorry if that doesn't meet your needs.
We won't give you your own special ministry when you have not shown up or participated in a single event we already have going on. We are sorry if that doesn't use your unique gifts and talents.
We will notice if you do not come anymore and might even reach out to ask you back, but we are sorry if one Sunday the Pastor did not hear you when you said good morning.
We won't compromise the Word of God, Jesus is pretty particular about adding or taking away Scripture, we are sorry if that makes us seem intolerant or not hip.
We will walk with you in this life. We will support you during this journey, we will love you and laugh with you. We will ask that you walk with us, that you help support us - you see, we are supposed to belong to a Body. Belonging to a church is like being married, two imperfect beings coming together to love each other and make this life more fulfilling and pleasant. It takes commitment, it takes love, and it takes forgiveness.
You can keep on church shopping, you can drop out and try to do it alone (even though that is not Biblical), you can watch your favorite preacher on TV every Sunday morning if you'd like - we are not going to force you to come but please do us a favor? Stop writing letters to us telling us how bad we are and why you aren't coming back, we've got too much work to do.
Every Small Church in America
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