“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Or for me on this ‘A-mazing Monday morning… “If a person leaves their church and no one is around to see it, does anyone notice?” I ask because in churches all over North America, people simply get up and check out. Six weeks later they’re telling you that no one even noticed they had left.
I think there are a number of factors why people check out. Everything from boredom, being offended, theological differences, ‘wanting more’ (read: bored), culture, a bunch of don’t likes, and the list goes on. I also believe that most people don’t get the impact of their leaving or know how to leave…to do it right. So ‘cuz I’m on the receiving end…allow me to enlighten.
This week I want to explore whether you are missed. In April, my family celebrated my mom’s 92nd birthday. What made this one so special was the fact that all six of her kids were there. The family was complete and it was good for all of us to be there…all together. There have been times when for one reason or another we couldn’t all be together. Did we still have a good time? You bet! Did we notice the other person not there? Absolutely! Have we all been jerks to one another at different times? C’mon…we’re a family, of course we have been. But it doesn’t make any of less wanted or needed. We are the ‘Roes’ because who we are – all the good and all the bad. I wouldn’t trade my family for yours and I would fight for anyone of us at the drop of a hat.
When you decide to ‘belong’ to a church family, YOU become a part of that family. Your gifts and your idiot-syncracies make up who that family is. I’m sure there are many people there who would fight for you at the drop of a hat.
The problem is, there have been people who have embraced you, and welcomed you into their family, and YOU have become a part of their family…which is now YOUR family. So, when you decide to check out and just not show up at ‘family meals’ (another name for weekly gatherings), YOU are missed! What you forget is that YOU (the whole package) have become a part of US and that part is now missing
And by the way, people are not calling you because they don’t care. They have gone into mourning over the loss of a brother or sister.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”