Today was the day we decided to visit a new church. We moved to this area this past October, and we hadn’t checked out any of the local churches, yet.
We haven’t been to our home church, down south where we moved from, since the Christmas party, last December. We haven’t really had any fellowship with other believers since then. Oh, we are in the Word, we listen to Gospel music on TV, and we always spend time in prayer, but it just isn’t the same as having fellowship with the ‘family’. This is the church where we were married three years ago, and it’s always going to be ‘home’ to us.
A couple of weeks ago we received a postcard in the mail from one of the churches in the town closest to us. What amazed me wasn’t that we received it, but that it was actually addressed to me, not current resident. I was impressed. Then, a few days later, maybe a week, yet another postcard, bigger than the first one, arrived, and again, it was addressed to me.
According to the postcard the church sent to us, their services were at 9:00 am and 10:30 am. OK, great. We are not ones to ‘get around’ quickly in the morning, so we decided to go to the 10:30 service. We do our morning routine, and finally get out the door a bit after 10:00.
We drive through town and head east. As we’re headed in the direction of the church, several cars are headed west, back into town. We figured they’re coming from the first service that had just ended. We keep driving and finally, the church comes into view. The parking lot is pretty full and so we’re expecting a full sanctuary.
We pull into the parking lot and Tom parks the Jeep and we head inside. Huh? We expected to see everyone seated, waiting for service to begin, but instead, there are people walking around, standing around; lots of visiting and talking and we peek inside the sanctuary and are very surprised to see all the chairs in stacks all over the place! What?!
Finally, a gentleman approaches us from inside the sanctuary and introduces himself. He’s one of the pastors and he strikes up a conversation with us. It turns out that they only have ONE service and then at 10:30, they have their bible classes. Tom mentioned about the postcard we received and how it talks about two services. Pastor says, oh yeah, we used to have two, but that just ended. He promised to look into the postcards that are sent out and make corrections to that. He was a very inviting man, and encouraged us to come back next week.
He apparently is the webmaster for the church website, and he and Tom have that in common. He encouraged Tom to check out the site and welcomes any tips to help improve the site. We gave him a little bit of our testimony, Tom did anyway, and had a very nice conversation.
As we were heading out the door, another gentleman approached and spoke with us for a few minutes.
So we left and headed back to the Jeep. It was both disappointing not to have been a part of their service, today, and encouraging that maybe we can visit there again, next week and truly check it out.
Since we’ve been in this area, no one has really recommended a church to us or invited us to visit one, so getting this postcard in the mail, twice, really impressed us.
While we always try to keep an open mind to invitations, it’s actions like this one that brings the people in; as the church does, so does the Gospel.