C called yesterday and said, "Well, I've finally made someone here mad at me." It's the same-ol' story: someone is (choose one):
c. having surgery
and the pastor doesn't:
c. send a card
and so the person is:
c. moving his membership to another church
Anyway, C was out of town last week and never got the word that this person had a need. Meanwhile, the other staff stepped in to minister, the Sunday School class brought meals, friends from church visited to console and comfort. But the letter to C arrived yesterday--"we thought you were going to be such a good pastor but now we realize how wrong we were about you." When he called to explain, the response was, "I have a hard time believing you didn't know."
So, of course, I get defensive for C--I mean, what does C have to deliberately gain by snubbing this family?But then I get defensive for the Church. We often talk about the difference between club values and discipleship values. Club values sound like this: "I pay my dues and I'm a member, so I should get the perks of my membership (including my own personal chaplain when I need one.) Discipleship values recognize that Jesus called us to follow him in a community in a way of life, seeking the Kingdom. In this case, the community did exactly what it was supposed to do--the family of God surrounded this couple and loved them in the middle of their need. But it wasn't enough. I wonder if the Church will ever learn to seek the kingdom together as long as club values dominate. I know, I know, this is nothing new, just what I'm thinking about today.