On Sunday, between our 9:00 and 10:45 services, I slipped away to my office to get something to drink and to pray for a couple of minutes. I have been praying for some of the people as they drive up and for the services in general. My office is upstairs overlooking one of our parking lots so I can see some of the people arriving, going into the church.
I looked out as a young family, obviously new, came out of the Worship Center looking for the place to take their kids. Clearly, they did not know where to go. They looked around at the building across the lot and kind of meandered toward one of the entrances, only to then change directions and head for the other door. I stood there helpless, very afraid that they would, out of frustration, just go back to their car. Understand, we have great First Impressions people who normally would handle this, but this family had fallen through the cracks. Here is where the story gets worse. One of our oldest members – by that I mean this person has been around the church for a LONG time – walked up to and right on by this new, lost family. This person did not say a word, as far as I could tell, didn’t even acknowledge that this family was even there. I wanted to jump out the window – not to kill myself – but to try to salvage the situation. I felt guilty for a couple of minutes of rest when I could have been down there personally greeting this new family.
It is difficult to preach with composure when you have just seen such blatant insensitivity and rudeness exhibited by a “mature” follower of Jesus, but God helped me. I wish I could say that this person is blind. In a way they are. Apparentl seeing-impaired to the purpose of the church.
The good news is, the lost family eventually found their way to the children’s ministry area and the parents came back into the worship service. I did not get to meet them, have no idea what their names are and have no clue if they will ever come back. Honestly, with a start like that, I wouldn’t blame them if they didn’t. Hopefully, something that was done or said allowed them to see the heart of God as expressed by His church.
Maybe they were blind, too. Maybe they couldn’t see the seasoned church member. Possibly they were oblivious to this person’s insensitivity. Maybe they were also ignoring this person. I can only hope.
I am glad to say, this is an unusual occurrence at Maranatha. And eventually, we will get more people on board to the vision of reaching people for Christ. Until then, I am going to keep praying and I’ll be sure to keep my windows locked.