I’ve done pastoral ministry for nearly twenty-five years and I still come across situations I’ve never dealt with before. The most recent happened this week when I was updating some church records. I was going to delete an individual who hadn’t worshiped with us for several years and hadn’t responded to letters, phone calls, emails, etc. But when I hit the delete button, the database program alerted me to the fact that he had made a contribution in 2011. What? 2011? I know I haven’t seen him in years. it must be a mistake.
So I checked with the people who count our offerings and enter contributions in the database. Not only did he give an offering, but he made a pledge for this year in response to our stewardship program! Really?
Now what do I do? What do you do with a member who only exists in a database but not in worship or the life of the church? This is one of the reasons being a shepherd and watching over a flock is a lot harder than it sounds.