Seas Of New Faces

We left the old one, so we are on the search…

If you’ve ever had to look for a new church, you know it is a daunting task.  Remember that church I told you about before (see “God Is Calling” if you forget)?  After we left there, we had the task of searching for a new church.  I had two criteria: 1) I wanted it to be within 15 minutes so that we would be close to attend church events and take our kids to the youth group and kids programs.  A good Youth Program and Kids Program were essential.  We had tried to do that long distance thing before and it’s not easy.  2) I was looking for a church with a contemporary worship team.  I was getting more into Contemporary Christian Music and that is the kind of music that speaks to me.  It uplifts my soul and brings be closer to God.

It was Sunday morning and I was planning to visit a new church in Oley with the kids.  My husband was working (as he does every other week) and we were continuing to visit churches in the area.  I had looked up the church we were going to visit on the Internet and it looked like they had an orchestra.  I kind of had in my mind already before visiting that I wasn’t going to like it.    I was so tired of visiting churches at this point and I really didn’t want to go.  We had been visiting numerous other churches in the area and never felt welcome.  We even went with one of our neighbors to their church and she introduced us to one or two people and then her and her husband had to run off and attend to responsibilities they had at church.  I stood against the wall with my kids and felt like everyone was looking at me and saying “who are you and what are you doing in MY church?”  I felt like I had something on my face or shirt and everyone else knew it but me.  I was about ready to give up, but I knew that going to church was something that God wants us to do and I couldn’t just NOT go because of the experience that I had gone through.  I woke up that morning and wrote “Seas Of New Faces”….

“It’s Sunday and I should go to church.  We left the old one, and we are on the search.  It’s hard in new places – seas of new faces.  Will they be nice?  Will I fit in?  What do they believe in?” 

This pretty much summed up my feelings about looking for a new church.  I felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere anymore.  I was very discouraged and my heart was broken.  In the end, it is so ironic that the morning I wrote that song, God answered my prayers.  That was the morning we visited a new church.  We were greeted in the front lobby by on older lady named Mae.  She said something that I always thought was so neat.  After saying good morning to us she said, “I’m sorry I don’t remember you name.”  I told that’s because we had never been there before.  She then proceeded to introduce us to several other people and couples and give us a welcome gift that the church gives out.  The other really cool thing that happened is that when we went to church, I found out they did have a worship team.  At that point, they had contemporary worship every other week (now they are only contemporary).  It was one of those moments where I felt God telling me “see – don’t make up your mind so fast.  Keep an open mind and I will show you where you should be.”  I am just so glad that we decided to at least try it out.

How many times do we not go talk to someone at church because we are afraid that we’ve met them before and we just don’t remember or we’ve never met them, but they’ve been attending for the past 6 months or a year?  There are so many faces at church that we don’t know and we’re not sure if they are new, if we’ve met them before and forgotten, or they’ve been coming for a while, and we just never met them before.  So, many of us just go talk to our friends and never bother greeting people we don’t know because we are afraid to put our foot in our mouths!  So, this week I challenge you… no, not just this week – every week…. Greet someone at church you don’t know.  Use Mae’s trick “I don’t remember your name”.  Reach out to others and make them feel welcome.  If the situation was reversed, believe me, you would appreciate it!  Good luck and happy greeting!