Trying on the shoes of a Christmas visitor

2012-carols1It must be difficult for people who grow up in an environment where there is no affection for the Church or for Christ to suddenly be confronted by Church and church people at Christmas time – especially when ‘we’ are so overly enthusiastic about it all!

Our Christmas Community Carols commences in just a few hours, along with a puppet show for the kids/parents and a BBQ before the carols singing. So I’m trying to put myself in our visitors’ shoes as they walk in our church door. What will they see? What do they want to experience as guests at our place? If I didn’t know Christ, what would I want to see at a carols service? Perhaps . . .

I would want a place that welcomes me with sincerity, that puts me at ease and appreciates that I won’t know the status quo for moving around your premises.  I won’t know where the toilets are, and I won’t know if it’s okay to put my feet on the seats or stop my kiddies running around in certain areas. Please tell me.

I would want a preacher who looks me right in the eye and tells me what they genuinely believe. I would want them to ask me to consider the real meaning of this Christmas celebration, explaining it in a clear but really succinct way! If this Jesus character is so important to you all, please tell me why. Show me.

I would want the music to sound good, with musicians who know when to come in and when to stop playing. I want singers who look like they are interested in the things they sing about.

I would want to see you had put effort into providing decorations for my children and I to be feeling festive. I would want some air conditioning and cold drinks (there’s no snow in the land down under at Christmas).

Most of all I would want you to treat me like someone who belonged here, not someone who is obviously new. I would love people to show a genuine interest in me, and my children, and to ask me back to visit again. That would show me how much you enjoyed my company!
That would make me feel special. If you remembered my name the next time I came, that would be awesome!

Please pray with me for our upcoming community carols, which is essentially one of the best outreach opportunities for the Gospel in our calendar. And I will pray for yours: that Christ will be glorified; that people may be won over by the love of Christ, turn from the god of self, and follow Him.

May there be much rejoicing in heaven over many new souls entering the Kingdom this Christmas.

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3 thoughts on “Trying on the shoes of a Christmas visitor

  1. I like what you have written Ros. It makes me think back to when I first went to church solo and at that time wasn’t a Christian. Much of what you’ve said rings true.
    Besides the top insights you wrote I’ll add a couple of comments of my own in order as they come to mind relating to my early experiences of an unbeliever going to church on my own:

    1. I would like the preacher too share the message deeply from his heart and preach with his passion, humour and life stories that I’d relate with. (The Pastor of this church was a humble man who absolutely loved Jesus and people and showed this every Sunday in what he preached and as time went on every time I saw and talked with him).

    2. I would like people to be friendly and welcoming but not too inquisitive lest I clam up, feel uncomfortable or make some excuse and walk away. Then again if someone had walked in my shoes and they knew my “language” and rapport easily developed then I’d appreciate this.

    3. I would like to understand the words the preacher is speaking, the songs, other things like offering etc. and how Christians talk with other Christians. I wouldn’t like to feel like a fish out of water with Christian jargon.

    4. I would like something tasty to eat and drink when I found out there was morning tea.

    P.S. I was so driven to find hope and peace and because of this Pastor and his humble love for Jesus and for me I kept going back. Because of God this Pastor and three other people like him – one of the female elders and my brother and sister-in-law I gave the smallest and “all-est” of faith into Jesus. : )

  2. Pingback: Is He really making a list, checking it twice? | sevennotesofgrace

  3. Pingback: Looking for good Christmas songs? | sevennotesofgrace

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