The new year is underway but some things remain the same.
While this story doesn't surprise me, it's still pretty sad.
This story is about an otherwise healthy church that strives to live out its biblical mandate to be the family of God. One my friends noticed that several active families left their church for no apparent reason, at least from the pastor's point of view. Although my friend was told that there were reasons, she wasn't free to say what they were. The pastor called these families and was told that their children had friends going to another church and just preferred that one. While the stories sounded lame, we all know that people leave a church for less.
Time went by when it was discovered that one of the volunteer staff had made a serious error in judgement. It was in no way unlawful, but it was a dumb and potentially dangerous mistake. As a result, some parents had concerns for their children, which, when the pastor found out, made perfect sense. From the volunteer's point of view, it was all a big misunderstanding. But some of the families involved just left the church; and when asked by the pastor about why they left, they clearly did not tell the whole truth.
What absolutely floors me is that these parents never said a word to the pastor or even the lay leadership. They just left. Not facing an issue and running away is bad enough when it's just about your kids, but they left knowing that other kids might be affected too. In my mind, this is not how the family of God should operate.
So while I still believe that the volunteer did something unwise, I have no sympathy for the families that left the church as a result. They left turning their backs on the rest of their church family. They decided to take the easy way out and say nothing.
How did the pastor finally find out? My friend said that the pastor found out by accident. One of the children mentioned it in passing. No adult (and there were other adults present when the incident occurred) came forward. I guess they thought it would all magically go away.
Here is a case where a mistake that could have been easily handled was blown out of proportion, resulting in secrets, lies, and evidence of bad character by a lot of folks. How should the family of God, the body of Christ act? Certainly not like this.