I posted a couple of weeks ago here about encouraging one another and turning up to things church-related even if we don't particularly feel like doing so.
This post from the Growing Faith website is a pretty good one on a very similar topic. Highly recommended reading with some challenges to think about.
The opening paragraph really rang true for me this week as I've been organising a party for our littlest family member and waiting for people to get back to me. This is a busy time of the year. Lots of full weekends ahead in the lead up to Christmas. Facebook events, especially if created a few weeks in advance of the actual date, aren't always easy to locate on the rather annoying homepage that keeps changing your newsfeed to whatever it feels like. But it's been an at times discouraging experience that I'm not keen to go through again in a hurry.
Anyway, back to that opening paragraph, if you don't have time to read the whole lot (or to encourage you to go and have a look...):
"In an over-full, over-committed life, it’s easy to just click ‘maybe’ on a Facebook event. The thought of making another decision about anything seems a little overwhelming, and ‘maybe’ seems a lot nicer than a flat out ‘no’. At the very least, it defers the rejection until you have the emotional fortitude to say it nicely. In the end, you wait until the absolute brink and bumble your way through “I am really sorry… the kids have been sick… the dog needs a kidney transplant… sorry… see you soon… it would be great to catch up…. I hope it goes well… sorry"."
I've learned this week that it's hard being on the receiving end when this happens. Of course, I realise there are really good reasons why people are unable to come to events that we organise (this post isn't targeted at anyone, I promise!). And our small party at home isn't a church related event so I'd much rather that people prioritised coming along to church over coming to our little do. But at the same time, I've been guilty of making these kinds of excuses myself, with both church and other social events. And regardless of whether the event is related to church or just a social gathering that someone's been kind enough to invite us to, it has the potential to hurt or discourage other people. Time (again) to repent of my sin.