Saturday, May 21, 2011

Do we belong?

Just visited a different denomination, and thought I would share my thought processes.
Did I enjoy the service? Yes and no. I loved hearing God's word read out. It never lacks power, no matter who reads it. I enjoyed hearing children participate. I felt a connection with people I already knew, but don't normally worship with. I also felt a separation from these same people, knowing that they would not embrace my faith or understanding, but stick to what they know.

The speaking and preaching did not comfort me. It was an emphasis on the party line of that denomination, also pointing out that the church ought not to be so full only on special occasions. Even the hymns were full of denominational biases, which just made me feel like an outsider.
Was the forgiveness of sins in Jesus proclaimed? Sadly, no.
How did I feel at the end of the service? Like I wanted to get out of there ASAP.

No, I didn't want to join in for morning tea somewhere in the back of this gothic maze. I needed to go as soon as was politely acceptable.
And I am a person of faith. What of someone with no faith???

How do we welcome new people without overwhelming them?
There is a spiritual discernment in being able to meet people at their point of need. It is a gift and leading from God, He will direct us, if that is our heart and prayer. We needn't ambush people, because God himself draws us/others to him in Jesus. Nor should we ignore them. There is a right way. It involves respecting people and not judging them. True love.
May the Holy Spirit release us into loving in a Godly way.

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