Speaking from personal experience, I know firsthand that preachers sometimes get discouraged when church members habitually miss the worship assembly.
Recently, I read a story about one particular preacher who had become so disheartened that he asked his secretary to compile a list of the ten members who were absent most often. He then asked her to mail each of these folks a copy of their attendance records in addition to a letter of admonition and concern.
After only a few days, the preacher received a letter from a doctor in the congregation. The physician confessed negligence in his life and even included a generous $1,500 check to cover the contributions that he had missed during his absence. He closed his letter with a promise to be more faithful in the future than he had in the past. Then at the bottom of the page, the MD wrote, “P.S. Please tell your secretary that there is only one ‘t’ in dirty, and no ‘c’ in skunk.”
It is difficult to know exactly what to say to a wayward brother, isn’t it? There’s a fine line between lovingly urging a man to repent and “browbeating” him. Certainly the words “dirty skunk” would not be appropriate, but something needs to be said. Something has to be said in the interest of his soul (James 5:19,20).
The Bible tells us,
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one IN A SPIRIT OF GENTLENESS…” (Galatians 6:1a; cf. Ephesians 4:2; Hebrews 10:24 – emphasis mine, mb).
Dear Christian, what do you need to say today, and to whom do you need to say it?