I attended a Members Meeting at Capitol Hill Baptist Church last year. It’s a church of over a thousand people, which means that things must be run efficiently. Except…

During the meeting, the congregation reviewed a list of people who were leaving the membership. If I had organized the meeting, I would have presented the list, asked for a mover and seconder, and wrapped up the discussion within minutes. It’s a housekeeping item, certainly not anything that requires valuable time in a meeting.

Not at Capitol Hill. Every person was named. Every person’s picture was put on the screen. Some were moving to different cities. Some found churches closer to home. They weren’t part of a list; they were members, and each one warranted the congregation’s attention and prayers. What could have taken a minute or two took a more extended period of time, and it was great.

Sometimes I try to run ministry efficiently. But people aren’t efficient, nor should they be.

The members meeting communicated two truths. First: membership matters. If you join here, we’re committing to you, and you are to us. We’re family, and when family members leave, it’s a big deal. Second: we put relationships above efficiency. We have time for you, even though things would run easier and faster if we didn’t.

I love both messages. By God’s grace I want to be part of a church that’s strategically inefficient when it comes to people.