It’s what my parents, grandparents, older siblings, aunts, uncles, friends and strangers used to say to me when I did something I ought not to have done. I say it to my children. I say it to students in my classes. I say it to lots of people. And I wanted to say it again today to some people who are plenty old enough to still say it to me.
Now I must preface this by saying that I have been in ministry for just over 10 years, which is very little time compared to some. During that time I’ve been a part of several churches and I’ve seen some crazy stuff happen inside the sanctuary during worship service. But today what I saw just takes the cake. It isn’t the first time I’ve seen it and it certainly will not be the last. It bothers me just the same.
What is it you ask? It is the mass exodus I witnessed today by a number of senior adults during the invitation portion of the worship service. Mass exodus? What on earth do I mean by that? In plain English I mean a whole bunch of our older brothers and sisters in the faith got up during the “singin” and marched themselves right out the front door of the sanctuary. Church wasn’t over. It wasn’t time to go yet. It was during the invitation, which you may or may not know, can be the most important part of the entire service.
You see, during church a few things happen. We say stuff to God. We say stuff to each other. And just incase you haven’t been listening to what God is saying to you during the rest of the service, there is the invitation. It is the time that is specifically designated for you to listen to what God is saying to you and act upon it .
There is much I would like to say about what happened today but here is the bottom line. Senior adults, we need you. We need you to behave like you expect us to behave. We need you to continue to set an example that is worthy of following. We need you to show us that you care, that you are invested all the way to the bitter end. We need you to stop the mass exodus during the invitation so we can continue to see that this portion of the service is as important as all the “preachin’ and singin.” We need you to respond in some other way than just leaving.
Just like my mama used to say to me when she expected me to correct my misbehavior, “You know better than that!”