I received this article by Thomas Weaver in my inbox this morning and thought it was a rather great read; something to keep in mind not only this weekend at church, but every week:
Okay, I’m not a Christian, but I’ve finally made the decision to come to your church this Sunday. Don’t expect much from me though. If something comes up, I might not, but right now, I’m planning on it. I feel like I need to go, but I’m not sure why. I want to tell you a few things about myself before you meet me.
1. I’m not going to understand religious language or phrases so be aware of that when we talk. I don’t understand slain in the spirit, God is moving in me, covered in the blood, I need to die to self, you just need to be in the Word, what you need is a new life, etc. If we have conversation filled with religious talk, I’m probably not going to understand half of the words…and maybe think you’re a little crazy.
2. When you ask me how I’m doing, know that I don’t trust you. I’m probably going to lie and tell you I’m fine. It’s not that I don’t want to tell you; it’s just that I come from some pain and am not sure if I trust you yet. How about you tell me your story first? If I like you and get the vibe that you’re not trying to capture my soul or anything, I’ll tell you mine.
3. I’ve got pretty rough language, and I can be bitter and angry about some things. If I sense in you a mindset of superiority, I’m out. If you are just waiting for your turn to talk instead of truly listening to me, I’m not going to be interested. Don’t expect me to be exactly like you.
4. Don’t make a big deal of introducing me to everyone you know. I understand a couple of people, but please; don’t set up a welcoming line. I’m just there to check it out; I need a bit of space.
5. I’m going to be looking for genuine interest in me. I don’t want to feel like your personal salvation project or be a notch on your “I saved one” belt. If this Jesus is who you say he is, then I’m looking forward to seeing him in you. That’s how it works, right?
6. I’m going to have questions. I need truth, not your preferences or your religion, so can you just tell me what the Bible says?
7. I need to feel welcome. Is there a time limit or something on my visit before I’m supposed to feel unwelcome? I mean, I’ve been to other churches, and there seemed to be a push for me to make up my mind or something. How long until I’m unwelcome?
Thanks for hearing me out. I’m pretty sure I’m going to come this Sunday. But I might not.
This post was originally featured on The Resurgence.