There's an old song whose lyrics go like this: "Sometimes you wanna go.. / Where everybody knows your name / And they're always glad you came. / You wanna be where you can see, / The troubles are all the same. / You wanna be where everybody knows your name." Doesn't that sound like a perfect description of what a church should be? It isn't about a church, though, at all. In fact, this was the theme song for a television show about a bar in Boston. Come to think of it, how many churches could this have described? Have the churches that you have been involved with met these qualifications?
Jesus told his disciples on the night before his crucifixion, "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:35). Instead of having love for each other, a lot of the churches today are filled with people hiding behind a mask, hoping that no one will discover who they actually are. In the studies that have been done to learn why our young people are leaving the church, this has been the number one reason. We are afraid to admit that we struggle with something, yet we long to see that "the troubles are all the same." Smaller churches may be better at learning everyone's name, but do we really know them? Do we know what our brothers and sisters struggle with? Do we know their hopes and dreams and how their relationship with God is going? They long to be in a place where everybody knows their name. Let's ask God to help us truly love those who walk through the door of our church.
Learning to love,