Just got a phone call from a church member who was sent a personal, handwritten note from a local church ministry. They were surprised — because their pastor had not even made one phone call to their home, or to any of their family members since “March” — the BEGINNING of the COVID-19 crisis in America.
Now, a handwritten envelope, with a handwritten note inside, arrives in their mailbox. It states that they would have liked to stop by and even visit were it not for the situation that church ministries face. If they are interested in having them personally visit, the church would be willing to come by and visit safely and cautiously.
The sad and distressing reality is that far too many pastors across America have failed to pass the test they were faced with this year. Ask people yourself! See if you do not hear the same response — “Nope, my pastor has never “called”  me to see how we are doing or to pray with me/us.” 
“F” Is For Failure ! 
√ Failed The Test — not because they lacked the time to adjust — most all would dismiss any charge of neglect during the first “14 Days To Flatten The Curve.” It has been almost 10 months!
√ Failed The Test – not because someone from the church had not called  — though some have not heard from anyone on the church staff. Praise the Lord; someone cares because it is about genuinely caring!
√ Failed The Test — because the lead or senior pastor has not shown any personal interest in “calling”  each and every member and friend of the local church ministry!
√ Failed The Test — because the lead or senior pastor passed off that responsibility to other pastors.
√ Failed The Test — because the lead or senior pastor passed off that responsibility to the “deacons” and excused themselves out by such a move.
√ Failed The Test — because the lead or senior pastor is “tone deaf” as to the message he is sending by thinking that the deacons and/or other church leaders can do what he should be doing, and alone can be accomplishing, as the shepherd of the flock.
√ Failed The Test — because the lead or senior pastor has the disrespect to argue that an email or text message is personal and meaningful. 
√ Failed The Test — because what is said about family, love, care, compassion, and genuine concern stand in deep contrast to the reality of pastoral failure in 2020!
Oh, by the way — the personal, handwritten letter which showed up in the mailbox of that member of a Bible-believing church — it was sent by the Jehovah Witnesses — They will figure it out even though pastors
can’t won’t. 
1. Let’s even include in “calling” the sending a personal, handwritten note. Let’s include loading a few lawn chairs into the trunk of the car and visiting on the front lawn. Let’s include in the word “calling” sending over a door-dash meal with a personal note. Let’s include dropping off / handing them a dinner, dish, or a dessert. Let’s include sending a spiritually directed book to read during these days of seclusion. Let’s include a “zoom visitation meeting” for those who want to and can participate. Let’s include . . . . Let’s include . . . . . Let’s include. . . . Oh, there are ways! — Many ways — if there is a will!
2. But be reminded that attending “prayer meeting,” “men’s prayer breakfast,” the Sunday morning prayers, and prayer as a personal and spiritual discipline is important!
3. Perhaps I am being too harsh in my grading — for some, I should raise it to a “D?”
4. “Better than nothing” is all it can be claimed as being.
5. “Won’t” not “Can’t” because there are ways, but it takes genuine concern and care, along with some thinking and denial of self-serving activities. Watching and reading about the political issues of the day at night, rather than making some meaningful and personal calls from the comforts of home in the evening is a choice!
Is There No Shame!: There is a loss of “shame” in our culture and society. That is not only witnessed by what is happening in the political world, but in the life of the church. Is there no shame!
Oh, did I tell you my pharmacist called us again THIS WEEK! — December 18, 2020