Well, one of the changes we had to make when moved to our new town is finding a new church.
Initially, we thought this process would be tough and we would not find a church that would meet our needs as well be too cliquish in such a small town.
First, we went to one local church and discovered it was crowded as we packed in like sardines; however, only a few people said hi to us – the greeter and the person(s) sitting next to us. I tried to reach out and say hi first yet even then we felt snubbed so it was just sit back and enjoy the service. The pastor did come and visit us which was nice yet it was interesting that he taught a message about loving people and his congregation was too cliquish to welcome new people. Worse, it was barely wheelchair friendly…
The next Sunday we attended a larger church and were immediately greeted by an older woman who made us feel warm and welcome as if we had come home. As we sat, waiting for the service to begin, other people came up and greeted us.
I felt at especially since it was the same type of church I had grown up in – Assembly of God!
Interestingly, when we lived in our old town, we both decided that the AG was not for us yet we did not have many choices in this new town except Baptist, Catholic, and Lutheran. Dene grew up Lutheran but I never felt comfortable in one and we were not into Baptist church nor was catholic church for us even though we know some great Catholics and Baptists.
This AG church had its usually speaking in tongues, older women dancing and swaying to the worship, and a young couple who I found myself chatting with as we shook hands during the greeting time. I even found an Evangel – an AG magazine that I loved to read as a kid. Definitely at home!
The next week, we attended again with my in-laws and again, we were warmly greeted. We found ourselves wanting to get involved and that week I had the pleasure of attending a women’s kick off event where a woman shared about being attacked and yet she was still alive and praising God. Reminded me that even though I had been attacked by two different people as a kid, I am still alive and God continues to use me as I yearn to eventually reach out to other women who have been attacked and/or abused.
Another event was attending the women’s bible study on Girls with Swords about women overcoming being oppressed and standing up by using God’s word to overcome adversity and the attacks the “enemy” will throw at women. A great study and I highly recommend it.
Finally, we attended a prayer session where two great women prayed over my husband for healing. We left feeling at peace and ready for the healing.
Tonight, we went back to the bible study and even had dinner of stew and dessert with other believers for just a dollar. a person. Can’t beat that!
Yes, we did find a new home town and we found a “family” in a church of believers who believe in loving people and Jesus. I cannot wait to become more involved through more fellowship, worshiping God, and praying together.
So, how do you greet new people or even those who have been coming for some time at church? Do you snub them or do you warmly greet them? I used to greet people and found that service to be a great service to those who need to be warmly welcomed to church; after all, how you greet people makes a world of difference so go out and warmly welcome everyone to your church just like Jesus would.