On Sunday, our church's nursery suffered a blow with some illnesses in our volunteer ranks. We actually had to start turning babies away. On top of that, the flu got the best of our road crew, which left us with mostly our musicians to do the heavy lifting. It was a hard Sunday. God definitely showed up... but it was hard.
In Andy Stanley-speak... our environment was not so irresistible.
But I'm grateful for guests who minister back to the church. Did you know that a congregation can actually minister to the pastoral staff? By showing up, for one! But also by forgiving environments that struggle. I do this every time I visit another church plant. Not every congregation has a great children's area... Some can't find musicians to save a life... Some churches aren't welcoming. But it doesn't mean they're not great churches.
Every church-goer wants grace from a church... but sometimes they have to offer it too.