church, church pews

We have this beautiful bird feeder which is three-quarters full of bird seed.

Sounds great right?

But there are barely any birds alighting on it these days. If they do they leave in a flurry of frustration with tiny empty stomachs. This is especially rough in these cold months when precious morsels of food are hard to come by.

So why is this bountiful bird feeder still full?

These lovely little feathered friends can hungrily clear its contents in only two days, but I have been busy this past month. I only just noticed this bird feeder has sat in a perpetual stasis of being three-quarters full.

Wait a minute… I haven’t filled it in a couple of months now. So how can this still be so full?

When I glanced at it in my daily rush I only took notice that it clearly did not need to be filled, but today I noticed…

I mean I truly sat down and took note of the length of time it had been since I last filled the feeder.

I watched as the birds rarely graced its perch in the week to come. The few stragglers that did come would peck eagerly around and then leave frustrated, still hungry having found no nourishment there.

I finally wandered out to the feeder and found its openings clogged and molded over with stale wet seed… It’s truly sad how long it took me to notice this.

And then God drew a line of comparison for me that caused me to grieve.

This bird feeder is not unlike so many of our churches…

Churches that look full and healthy. They advertise songs of welcome and nourishment for all, but many are leaving its steps discouraged, heart-broken, and hungry.

Few if any of the lost and weary worn travelers ever grace its steps anymore and even when they do they leave having found nothing to truly meet their needs…

Like my poor hungry birds.

And the solution?

Are we too busy, “in the church” to notice the lost outside of the church? Or to busy to take the time and realize what the core issues are?

Do we stop and take notice in our churches that we largely in part are always full of the same people?

Do we notice that most of our church growth is merely birds from a different feeder looking for some fresh new seed instead of the lost and weary ones who truly need it?

Are we trapped in a stale molded stasis of “…But we have never done it that way before.”?

Are we more concerned about the appearance of our building instead of going out to reach the people? What are your thoughts?

winter reflections on bird feeders and the church…

by HeatherWindeler time to read: 2 min