Mostly Forgotten

Ben Reed —  January 12, 2011 — 10 Comments

I go to your church, but you don’t know my name.

I sit in the back.

I slip out early.

I’m there every week…almost.

I try to follow God, but I’m not perfect.

You give me a smile and a handshake, but you don’t know my story.

You don’t know what I do for a living.

You don’t know my passions.

My struggles.

My plans or goals.

My past failures.

You’re happy I’m at church…you tell me every time I come.

But you never follow up throughout the week.

With an email or a phone call.

I’m not in a small group.

I’m haven’t been on a mission trip.

I’m not serving others.

I’m not on your radar.

Or your potential leaders lists.

But God’s gifted me.

And those gifts were meant to bless others.

Including you.

Our church needs my gifts.

And I need to use them.

But I need you.

I need your encouragement.

I need you to believe in me.

To breathe hope into my life.

Show me that I matter.

That God cares.

That I have a part to play.

That my story matters.

But until then…

I’m mostly forgotten.

 

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Ben Reed

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Christ follower, husband, father, writer, pastor of small groups at Long Hollow Baptist Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.
  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    Just found your site- great ministry! This was incredible!

    *I hope you don’t mind, but I am gonna post this on my site… I do have it linked back to you though…

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Don’t mind at all…hope it’s helpful to your readers!

  • http://twitter.com/jasonvana Jason Vana

    It’s sad how true this really is.
    Thanks for the reminder to be looking out for the “mostly forgotten.”

  • http://larryhehn.com Larry Hehn

    Great reminder, Ben. I was convicted of this very thing on Sunday. God’s definitely telling me something. Thanks for sharing this message in such a heartfelt and impactful way.

  • http://stalkingdonaldmiller.weebly.com Robin Matteri

    This is exactly how I feel yet I haven’t stepped foot in a church. Am I getting what is being implied? Many just go through the motions of going to church but forget about the people?

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Robin, that’s what I’m getting at. Also the whole idea that there are people that God has gifted, given a story, and redeemed…and we don’t even give them a second look. To our shame.

      I hope you’ll give church a second shot. Sorry if we’ve blown it in the past. We’re trying to improve all the time.

      • http://stalkingdonaldmiller.weebly.com Robin Matteri

        I made it to church yesterday and I must admit I’m delighted. Maybe I found a good home. I love the clarification in your reply about people being given a story….my oh my, nailed that one!

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  • http://twitter.com/noelbagwell Noel Bagwell

    Okay, I’m going to say this, and I know haters gon’ hate, but whatever. As I was reading through the first part (before all the neediness), my only response was, “…and it’s my fault.” Not MY fault, as in Noel Bagwell’s fault, but it is the fault of the person who is “forgotten.” I mean, really… you slip out early? You sit in the back? You’re not in small group? Nobody knows you or what your deal is? Okay, whose fault is that? Introduce yourself! Make a friend! Be proactive. Get involved, and stop being a wallfower.

    People bitch and moan about how over-zealous “church people” are – about how they constantly “shove God down everyone’s throats” and so on and so forth. Well, you can’t whine about that AND whine that nobody knows you at church. Mixed messages! Church people are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. Too outgoing, not outgoing enough.

    I like the sentiment behind this blog article – that church folks should make an effort to get to know people who come to church and all that. I get it. I see what you’re saying. Honestly, though, I just cannot put the majority of the “blame” on church folks, if there are “forgotten” people in church. When it comes to not being “forgotten,” it is incumbent upon the new attendee to reach out and try to make a connection with someone, especially in a world where church people are constantly criticized for being too over-eager when it comes to sharing their faith, their church, their religious experience or even their friendship in the context of a religious setting.

    Sorry this turned out to be so long. This is just something about which I have often thought, and, apparently, about which I have formed a strong opinion.

    • http://www.benreed.net Ben Reed

      Noel, could this be a ‘both/and’ situation? It’s ‘both’ the responsibility of folks who attend worship to reach out and build relationships with others there…’and’ it’s the responsibility of new folks to try to build relationships with others there.

      I wrote this to ‘church’ people. Maybe there could be another one written to new folks coming into our church buildings?