Why is patience important? Because it makes us pay attention

One of the fruits of the spirit is patience. Every year I have mixed feelings about the month after Back to Church Sunday. The reason, I am either greeted as a hero or I am persona non grata. Literally an un-welcome person. Now neither roles is at all helpful. But clearly I don’t like being treated as an un-welcome guest. The reason I am unwelcome is that for 50% of churches participating in Back to Church Sunday,  nobody invited anyone.  As everyone looks for a quick fix to the problem of numerical growth we cannot imagine that God speaks through our congregations not inviting anyone. So therefore  church leaders move on, not to some other initiative, but move on to nothing. You see one of the fruits of the spirit is patience, but nowadays we want patience without delay. The old word for patience is the word long-suffering. To become invitational you must suffer long!