Ultimate irony: ignoring our mission to talk about it

DENVER, Colo. (BNC) by Neal Pollard — Friday night, my son Carl and I flew to Bismarck, North Dakota. Why? Well, of course, we wanted to attend the “Melita Banana Days” in Melita (pronounced Meh LIT Uh), Manitoba. That, and stay in a Bed and Breakfast in Carnduff, Saskatchewan, that doubles as an ice cream shop. Saturday night, we were back in our own beds sleeping.

While we were registering at the festival on Saturday morning and talking with some of the organizers, we told them we had flown up from Colorado to check them out. From what we could tell, we were the only attendees from America. They were mildly intrigued by that fact, but basically brushed us off. Which was fine. We also wanted to check out Oak Lake beach about 60 miles north of there. But it was ironic to read on their website that this event is about promoting tourism. Perhaps our tepid reception was an exception to how they welcomed outsiders checking them out.

On a family vacation not too long ago, our family visited a small congregation on a Wednesday night. We drew a few stares from the local members as we took our seat right as Bible class began. Afterward, we were briefly greeted by one member who explained that their little group was going to have a meeting to discuss strategies for being more evangelistic. We were a family of strangers to them, and we might have been newcomers or non-Christians. They would not know. None of them tried to connect with us. We were essentially shown the door. We found this ironic.

It is ironic to sing, pray, preach, teach, and otherwise emphasize about the church’s mission and then to practically ignore it. Our assemblies are foremost about worshipping God and building up the body, but even first-century gatherings were attended by those other than the local Christians (cf. 1 Cor. 14:22-25). In our zeal to deepen and build our relationships with one another, we must not ignore or be cold toward those who “enter” our assemblies.

Instead, we should seek opportunities to start conversations and create opportunities to open doors which lead them to Christ. Certainly, they should leave our assemblies aware of our intense interest in them. To do otherwise is to undermine our very purpose and mission. That would be the ultimate irony!

This article was previously published on Neal’s blog and is used by permission.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

4 thoughts on “Ultimate irony: ignoring our mission to talk about it

  1. What’s new?! What a shame and tragedy that that fits after a visit to many, if not most congregations. Once my son was spied at a Wednesday night service, and one good brother chased him to meet him. A great exception! And Yes, I have visited a small congregation that my presence seemed to make the members uncomfortable.

    I’m sure you have heard the phrase “Get right or get left”. I’ll start doing better! How about you?!

  2. One of our friends went to a big empty church in UK only to be prodded by an elderly woman and told he was sitting in her seat!!! Welcome to church dear visitor!!!!

  3. My wife and i went to a small church in Tenn years ago for Bible study & worship
    WE sat on one side of he building by ourselves-no one invited us to sit over with the rest of the congregation
    they used a book for Bible study-no one offered their book to us so we could be involved in he study
    we felt like they didn’t want us there

  4. Come visit us at the church of Christ at Alisal in Salinas, California and I can assure you that you will not be treated like that. Praise God for good Christian fellowship!

Reaction?