Outsider

OutsiderI 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.

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~ by Serena on June 5, 2009.

3 Responses to “Outsider”

  1. I totally understand this situation! I visited alot of churches before I settled THE one. I felt this way alot of the time! One of the reasons I choose the church that I did was because of the friendliness and information given to visitors. It is by no means a mega church! They have a small sign to tell were the nursery and restrooms are, greeters, information for visitors in the bulliten every week, and the associate pastor starts out with annoucncing info for visitors before the worship begins! I also read a book you might like… Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Robert Schnase there is also a Five Weeks of Prayer and Practice for Congregations. Also by Robert Schnase. We had a group that meet weekly to discuss each chapter. I think they were purchased from fivepractice.org

    By the way I am loving your blog and plan to share it with many!!!

  2. Hmmm…I’m probably going to have to bring this up the next time we talk. Just curious about your thoughts about how/what you would have liked to see done differently.

  3. I hope that’s not my church, and if it was, then had I known you wouldn’t have been an outsider!

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