I was on vacation last week, so I didn’t actually attend church (unless you count Bedside Baptist with Rev. Sheets). Since my weekend was open this week, I decided that I would go check out someone else this weekend. I actually wanted to visit a church just 4 miles down the road that I’ve seen and heard a lot about over the years. It was a 3 year old church plant that’s been growing like crazy. I have a friend who is a ministry intern there and and I had seen pictures of their new facility. I had seen some pictures and from the looks of it, this church plant had an incredible looking environment for kids (without having to spend a fortune on Wacky World or something at that level).
I decided to go to the 11:00 service on Sunday. It was the first time in my entire life that I’ve ever gone to church that late on a Sunday (when I wasn’t on vacation). Titus (my son) woke up at about 7:45, so I fed him. While feeding him, I put a movie on. I watched the entire movie and then last week’s episode of the office. Then I took a shower and went to church. This felt sooooo strange. Sunday’s for me are always early morning days of getting things ready, getting things set up, my mind running a hundred miles an hour. It felt so weird to have watched a movie (I know, not very spiritual to do on the Lords day), a TV show, feed my son…. all before going to church.
So, I went to church and this was weird. I couldn’t remember the last time in more than 10 years that I was a visitor. Even when I had been hired at a church, I was usually there before the greeters on my first Sunday… so I didn’t get the visitor experience. It was so strange to walk into a place where you casually shook hands with people you didn’t know and didn’t quite know where to go once you walked in the door. Fortunately for me, I was meeting a friend and it didn’t take but a minute to find him. I think I’m going to enjoy these next few weeks visiting some other churches, see what they are doing in ministry and remember how I felt as a visitor (so I can remember that when I’m on the other side again).