I felt like an outsider a few weeks ago.
I visited another mega-church in town for its young adult worship service. I arrived before my friend, so I stood outside and waited (mostly since I had no idea where I was going). There was a group of “regulars” a few yards from me. None of them invited me into their circle; they just stared.
After my friend arrived, we walked inside. A table greeted us with snacks and drinks. I think we can take some without paying, my friend said. I hope that’s the case, since that’s what we did.
The music was starting, so we made our way into the auditorium. The band played 3 or 4 songs, and I recognized a total of 0. I read the words on the screen but didn’t really sing since I didn’t know the tunes. I felt incredibly conspicuous since I wasn’t participating.
The sermon was great. But the pastor used some church lingo I wasn’t aware of, referring to a different room in the church. Where’s that? I wondered.
I’ve been a church girl all of my life, but I’ve never felt so out of place…
As I was reflecting on the experience later, it hit me. I probably felt much like a non-Christian feels when entering church. You feel lost. You feel like people stare at you since you’re a newcomer. You don’t know the words to the songs. You don’t understand the “Christian-eze.”
No wonder pre-Christians don’t want to come to church. It’s quite intimidating to feel like an outsider.