I once (actually more than once) joked that if I ever wanted someone to come to a parent meeting as a pastor or a parent teacher conference when I was a teach all I had to do was say or do something controversial right before the meeting was to take place. Then when the meeting starts I would get up and say “oh by the way I was just kidding, sorry for the misunderstanding. Now I would like to talk to you about the exciting things that are going on here at church/school”. Then there are the times that I truly did upset people by what I said or did and I did not want them to show up or call to set up a meeting. I cannot tell you how many times that something good has happened and I thought that surely people would want to come and hear about the good new. Nope, good news does not draw a crowd.
I once had a long bus trip with my middle school ministry and one the way out we watch (well not me, I was driving) “Pirates of the Caribbean” (The first one, because the rest of them were not near as good). On the way back from the trip we watched “The Lord of the Rings, Return of the King (it took the entire trip, thank you very much Tolkien and Jackson). The next week I had parents in my office to talk to me about my movie selection. They thought that “The Lord of the Rings” was acceptable, but “Pirates of the Caribbean” was not. Both movies were PG13 but one of them was not written by Tolkien, never mind that Peter Jackson was the director of the movie. I listened and told them that I would simply not show PG13 movies on trips again and that seemed to suffice. The next time you pul those movies out to watch consecutively in one day (it will take you roughly 6.5 hours) send me a message and let me know which movie is scarier or gorier.
The point is that when we want to share good news people don’t show, but when there is bad news it is like blood in the water. I am not sure if it is the fact that the media likes sharing bad news and that has conditioned us, or if people want to believe that all is going well until it doesn’t. As a pastor and teacher I always thought that it was a time issue in which people simply did not want to be bothered unless there was trouble. I have actually been tempted to get myself in trouble on this blog repeatedly just to drive my readership up, but I am not sure if I want that one reader that I had from ecuador having to come all that way just to meet with me about my bad behavior.