I have to admit I am in a good bit of quandary about this matter of “feelings” when I make my first venture into a “new” Church. The fact that people do that every Sunday (some a few times, some for longer terms) makes me wonder how they ever decide where to invest their lives. Understand, I am not ruling out, and do encourage, discerning God’s will in the matter.
In short, my bride and I attended another Church in our area this Sunday morning ((I am not going to name them anymore, it just gets people uptight). I have been in the building on many occasions, but it was the first time for a Worship Service in many years. A sweet lady opened the exterior door for us and said “good morning” with a smile. The lady that handed us a Worship folder a few minutes later also said “good morning.” We found a seat, the service started, and the music was “our style.” At one point someone on the Staff asked the people present to greet someone and the couple sitting in front of us turned to speak and asked if we were visiting. We replied, “yes.” They made a quick invitation for us to attend a Bible Study (he was the Teacher) following Worship, which seemed to end the conversation – or perhaps it was ended by the quick start to more singing. A message by a guest speaker followed (a little weak – I’m sorry, but this is serious business) and we were finished. No one said a word as we left even though we passed lots of people just standing around. (Maybe they do know who I am [See last week's blog on this matter] and think, “leave that guy alone.”)
I know this reads critical (it was better than last week), and I don’t mean to be unkind. We (my bride and I) could be lost people- excuse me, “unchurched” people. We could be hurting people, lonely, discouraged, tortured people. What if this were the only opportunity we would ever give anyone to reach out?
There has to be a way to do this thing. Maybe I am just spoiled (I know where it is done better – not perfect I am sure – but better), or maybe I am just foolish. Maybe it is not important to be concerned about how we “feel” or what we “perceive” when we enter the abode of God’s Family.
But what if it is?