It is harsh when your own kid calls you on your bull#@*%.

I’ve been struggling lately, as nothing I touch seems to fall in to the “successful” category. Over the course of my ministry at First Pres Argenta, I have been ghosted by church attendees/members too many times to count. I’ve received so many calls and/or emails explaining how much people love and appreciate the church (and me), but they’ve decided to move on that I wasn’t even nice to the last person who sent me such an email. And I am always nice…or at the very least, try to act like I am.

I even went so far as to spend a whole day and a lot of dollars to get trained as a Zumba instructor in the hopes that a wayward church member (and Zumba enthusiast) might return. That didn’t happen. And while a couple of people have taken advantage of the weekly classes, it has become yet another example of something I’ve offered that very few people actually care to attend.

And yes, the handful of people who have attended church regularly during my tenure have heard me say over and over again that God doesn’t call us to be successful, God calls us to be faithful. And I believe that. I really do. I also have come to realize that continued failures can be exhausting and disheartening and hard to bounce back from.

As I was lamenting my inability to attract and sustain members in just about anything I do these days, my 17-year-old called me on it. “Mom,” she said. “You have to stop this. You have a tattoo of a starfish on your back to remind you of the starfish story and how important it is to make a difference to just one.”

Well… damn.

I’m either going to have to get that tattoo removed (which would thrill my ink-averse husband) or actually start living what I say I believe.

Why couldn’t I have a teenager who parties too hard or gets in trouble at school instead of some smart mouth kid who’s actually been listening to her pastor/mother and questions the integrity of my theology/ecclesiology/ink choices? Geez! Where did I go wrong?


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