Is your church friendly?
Maybe an even more important question is: “Are you friendly at your church?”
These are questions I had to ask myself after a rough church experience on Sunday. I am currently “church shopping” and if I’m honest, I hate it! It has been so hard to attend lots of different churches. Growing up as a pastor’s daughter, I am used to having a home church that is almost like family. I went to church this Sunday and ended up leaving in tears. It was my third Sunday “trying out” this church and for the third Sunday in a row, no one talked to me, acknowledged me, or welcomed me. I was already feeling lonely and uncomfortable walking into the church not knowing anyone, it was extra hard to leave feeling even more alone than when I walked in. I have never really been the “new person” at a church before and now I know what it feels like.
This made me question if I have ever overlooked someone sitting alone, looking uncomfortable, just as I was this Sunday. Have I gone out of my way to greet those that are new at my church and make them feel welcome? I wonder if I have made someone feel like I felt on Sunday. Alone.
It’s so simple to not be friendly. In fact, it’s easier.
Going out of our way to greet strangers can actually be pretty scary too. But now that I’ve been the stranger, I know how important it is.
As soon as I do find a church home, I know that my goal will be to seek those out who like me, are new, sitting alone, and look uncomfortable. I will make sure to greet them and show interest in them. Maybe we should all make this a goal?
Photo credit: stevecadman