While sitting in church this past Sunday, I was thinking (I tried not to hurt myself)… wondering why some people don’t come to church. I know that there are many reasons, but I thought that one might be as simple as they just don’t know what to expect. People like me, need to know… to plan… before we go somewhere unfamiliar. So, I just want to help those specific people out.
Mind you, I am not speaking for all churches… just mine and ones like it.
Typical Sunday morning service… you have two options to choose from, both are the same… 9:00am or 10:30am. So far, so good. You will walk in the door and someone will shake your hand and/or say hello and hand you a “mission folder” (this is a new word for the “bulletin” and if you aren’t familiar with that term, it’s basically a program of the service with announcements for the week). If you have kids, they could sit with you or join the other kids in the next building. Someone will be happy to help you get there. Anyway, once you walk in, find a seat… anywhere. Some of us joke about having assigned seats, but it’s not true. And no one will get mad at you for sitting anywhere. We are just glad you came.
Next up… announcements, prayer (led my staff you just bow your head), music (good stuff!), and sermon. Now, we will sing songs together… and you may not know them if you are new. That’s ok! I promise. There are people who aren’t new that don’t sing… or that just don’t sing well. 😉 Most people can figure out the tune and all the words are nice and big on a screen so you can see them. So, even if you don’t sing, you still have the words and could fake it if it makes you feel better. But, no one is watching you.
Now for the meat… the sermon. Our pastor delivers his message of the week based from the Bible. Some of it might make you squirm a bit, depending on what he’s speaking about and what your life circumstances are… but that’s ok, too! He steps on my toes all the time! I take that to mean that God is still working on me… and that’s great because He hasn’t given up!
My church is filled with a variety of people… we have people my age (early 40’s) with young kids or grown kids, young married couples with and without kids, teenagers, and seniors (they are the most fun if you ask me). We have all different colors, ages, and backgrounds. There are people who dress in their Sunday best and people who wear jeans. We are all pretty friendly and approachable. There are so many kind people… God-loving people, that will just be glad that you are there.
No one will make you stand up… no one will make you recite some passage or prayer… there’s no kneeling, standing, kneeling, standing… although we do sit and stand up a couple of times. But, I consider that a break for my rear! There are no snake charmers… and no headless chickens… Not sure if that’s a deal-breaker, but we don’t have it.
Our church is just a place where you can come to hear God’s word preached, hear some good music, and meet some really great people. Once you’ve made it that far, there are other things you could add, but that should give you a good start.
So, next time someone invites you to church (especially mine Shindler Drive Baptist Church), you can go prepared. I’m even positive that your friend would let you sit right next to him/her. So, what do you say? You want to give it a shot? Hope to see you there!
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see in the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25