Read 2 Timothy 4:9-12
9 Timothy,please come as soon as you can. 10 Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia,and Titus has gone to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come,for he will be helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. (NLT)
Near the end of Paul’s life,it is apparent there is a passing parade of people in his thoughts. Some have deserted him. Some have simply gone elsewhere,presumably to serve Jesus. Others who once were estranged from him (Mark),are now valuable to him. And someone like Luke was physically with him.
We may value people and they may value us,but relationships and situations change. This is especially true in our local churches. Some seem to be with us for life: glued on no matter who is the leader or what is the state of the building or balance sheet. Others come and be with us for a time before leaving. We can take comfort from the fact we have blessed them on their journey even if that journey meant their leaving us.
Others burst like meteors on our church life then old problems emerge,old wounds are opened,and they leave. Sadly they may take their ‘baggage’ with them to some other unsuspecting congregation. Yet others merely stick their heads in the door and find that church is not for them.
Your church may not be like a reservoir,accumulating more and more people. It may be more like a river,somewhere people can immerse themselves for a while before moving on. Your church may be a staging point along the way,not the destination itself.