Mission Monday | Do We Really Care?

Posted: April 30, 2012 by Rich Landosky in Mission Monday

I was reading a blog from our Missions Conference speaker and Director of InFaith (the old AMF), Ridge Burns, the other day.  It was a story of a recent experience in a church in our area.  Here’s an excerpt:

As I was leaving my friends, I heard a church that had bells playing familiar hymns, and I thought I’d really like to hear some organ music, so I drove to the church, whose sign said it was “A Family-Friendly Church,” and parked in the parking lot. Knowing that I was terribly underdressed, I thought I would slip into the back of the church, listen to some organ music, and quietly slip out, not disturbing anybody.

So that’s what I did. I parked my car and walked into the church. It was not a large church, but it had a great organ. It was very formal, and it was really obvious that I was not dressed appropriately. I kept my stocking hat on because I had a pretty major bedhead from the rain.

What happened to me next I was not prepared for. Two men who were ushers came and asked me to leave the church. They told me I was not dressed appropriately and that I was welcome to come back when I had the appropriate clothes on to show respect for our God.

I graciously left because I was not there to cause a scene, but as I walked to my car, I thought how wrong this was, how wrong that we have to dress a certain way or have certain hoops to jump through in order for us to be acceptable to the local body that meets at a church.

My heart was saddened as I read that story.

This past Friday night we had our High School RIOT.  It was a small turn-out which can be a nice thing some times.  As I walked around and observed and tried to get involved in what was going on in different areas, I was struck by how there were some students there who almost seemed to be ignored.  Maybe they weren’t being ignored.  Maybe they had been talked to several times and invited into games and conversations and chose to be by themselves.  It is certainly possible that I missed some of that.  But it saddened my heart to see what I perceived as some students almost alone and looking out-of-place all night.

Ridge’s story and what I perceive to have observed this past Friday night have left me asking how much we really care.  Do we really care about the lost?  The lonely?  The hurting?  The outcast?  The ones Jesus constantly told us we should be caring for and about.  We spend a lot of time talking about evangelism and missions and what it means to live missionally.    We hold it up as a core value.  We give it mental ascent.  But do we really care?  Something seems to be amiss when we get escorted out of a church because of the way we look or when we find people lonely/alone and feeling out-of-place when we’re supposed to be welcoming and caring.  Have we gotten so comfortable that we just don’t care anymore?  Those questions lead me to some ideas for tomorrow’s “Tuesday Tunes” so make sure that you check that out while you ponder the question.


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