A friend read me a letter his pastor had written to his church. The pastor chastised the congregation for their lack of commitment, poor attendance at services, and a general lack of support for programs.
While my friend read, my mind drifted to the lists I used to keep and the letters I used to write.
The lists would mark the attendance of the elders and deacons at church services. During the service I would make mental note of who was there and then afterward make my way to my office to record the data. I was gathering evidence to build a case, evidence to prove their lack of commitment to the church, evidence to justify my anger.
In an all-encompassing letter, I once criticized the entire board because of their lack of support for a church missions conference. I pointed out that less than 40 percent of the board even attended the meetings-less than the percentage of our regular people who attended!
"How can we possibly expect others to get excited about missions," I wrote angrily, "when ...1