The email from Karen and Derrick had the subject line "Monday hello." While the actual body of the message felt like a cyber-punch to the stomach, I could not help but laugh at the subject line. If ever there was a Monday hello, this was it.
Karen and Derrick had come to our church from a nearby megachurch. During the Christmas holidays, they sent my wife and me a Christmas card extolling the many virtues of our church and how God, in his providence, had surely led them to us. I felt so encouraged. This well-adjusted young couple had chosen to be a part of what we were doing in Atlanta! They loved the size of the church, the welcoming community, and best of all, they loved the preaching (read: "they liked me").
The timing of this card was perfect. Our struggling church plant was navigating the Christmas holidays and attendance was down, more so than usual, because of the holidays. In the early days of our church plant, I cringed when an individual would open our worship gatherings with the ...1