I saw this bit in Group magazine this morning…
“Jesus loved all people and challenged them to follow him, but he wasn’t a chaser.”
I hadn’t really thought about that before and it’s a good reminder for us ministers. Sometimes we are called to be “chasers.” Whenever someone starts missing church (or visiting other churches) we’re expected to call on them and encourage them to return. It’s a call I dread because the conversation is usually awkward and I feel like the “Attendance Czar” who’s calling them out for their lack of faithful attendance. I just don’t enjoy hounding people to attend church. Of course if I don’t call them then I’m accused of not caring or not doing enough to keep them.
I’ve never really thought about how Jesus would handle the same situation. Can you see Jesus calling people and begging them to return? I’m not sure I can. I see him as someone who welcomes people, loves people, accepts people and invites them to follow. But if they choose otherwise I think he would let them walk away. At least that seems to be the way he called disciples. Can you think of any examples where he handled it differently?