People Amaze Me

People amaze me.

In a lot of good ways. But in silly ways, too.

One of the things that constantly amazes me is the gap between why people say they leave a church and what the evidence seems to indicate. People have left my church (the best one in the whole world, by far!) because the music was too loud; next thing I know, they're worshiping in a much larger church that plays 10db louder! Someone else left the church because the pastors didn't give them adequate care in a time of need; that person now attends a much larger church where the pastors don't know her name. Someone else left because our teaching wasn't "deep enough," and soon joined a church in a community far away that prevented them from frequent attendance on worship. Others left the church because in their view the staff in our church wasn't sharing power with the leadership body; they're currently worshiping in a fully staff-led church. Another left the church because we weren't "following the Spirit," and soon stopped worshiping anywhere. And so it goes.

That's not everyone of course. Some have left our church and found exactly what they claimed to be looking for elsewhere. And many have stayed though we're as utterly flawed as the rest (but still the best in the whole world, by far!). So why do I care? It hurts my feelings, that's why. It aggravates me. But it also makes me think, daggone, we're doing a crappy job in spiritual formation if such otherwise fine people can be so blind to their own rationalizations...or whatever. Of course, there's one more possibility: I'm a horse's rear end.

We won't be taking a poll.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not betting on the last possibility. But you didn't articulate one possibility which frequently drives people from church - personal sin. When my husband left the church a decade ago, this was the case, but I doubt he would have admitted anything beyond discomfort. Through discouragement, and my own personal sins (plus a really lousy response on the part of other church members to a crime against my son), I began to walk away as well. If asked, I probably would have given a different reason.

    I'm no authority, by any means, but don't take it personally. It may hurt your feelings, but it is probably hurting them far more than you.