I don't even know where to begin.
Sunday mornings always seem to have some kind of hiccup. This morning was no exception. The cat came across the table flinging milk and cereal everywhere.... The 3 year old cried over wet pajamas. The kids grumbled about getting up... It was a fairly normal Sunday morning.
we had researched the church we would check out. We were praying for good worship & a good Bible believing message.
As we drove in they directed us to a parking space and then abruptly but somewhat jokingly told us to get out of the road or someone would hit us. I remarked how strange that would really be since we were at church to my husband.
As I walked in I was bumped into 6 different times by people needing to rush in past us. We were obviously new..no one greeted us even once. So being that we are pretty comfortable in a church setting we hunted down a bathroom so the kids could stop before we went back out to the lobby to get a bulletin. While in the bathroom my 7yr old daughter asked where they would go during church. As I explained to her I didn't have any idea because no one yet talked to us a sweet girl who was also in the bathroom apologized and said she really hoped our time at this church wouldn't be hindered by our experience to that point. I really hoped so too.
As we walked back out no one even said hello. The greeter did not offer any one of us a bulletin, nor were we ever told where our kids could or should go ... To include my nursery aged children.
worship began. The music was good. A bunch of talented musicians. When worship ended my littlest guy (being just about 20 months got fussy) so I quickly exited to the foyer where an usher let me out.. Made sure I knew there was a screen to watch & offered me a seat. I chose to stand and hold my little guy knowing that if I sat down he would just use the opportunity to gain his freedom.
out comes the girl we met in the bathroom earlier. She came to just check on us. I thanked her for being "the only example of Christ a I had seen at this church all morning"
She thanked me & ducked back into service.
And then the usher who had opened the door to let me out of the sanctuary approached me. Why did I say that to her? He was a godly man. He read his bible. He was kind to people. He opened the door for me and yet somehow I was ungrateful ... He told me it was like I was throwing a knife at his heart.
part of me was appalled at his need to be recognized. The other part of me broke as I realized that if he had said this to an unbeliever in Christ or a very young Christian they might never come back to church again.
so I simply asked him why he would attack me like that? And I asked how he knew I wasn't searching for a church. I began to explain our on the road experience and was abruptly cut off by the woman who was clearly the main greeter for the day (she had all the bulletins as well).
She told me I had a problem. That how dare I say we were missed. That somehow I was looking for trouble. I introduced myself and told her surely it wasn't. In fact at this point I had tears in my eyes because in my heart I could only imagine God watching this play out. I suggested we start over. She asked..."so what exactly DO you do & WHO is your sending church?" I told her. She then told me we aren't REAL missionaries & that we are on the road for satan and that I had a REAL problem.
I knew at that point it was time to go. But Frank was still inside the church with 5 kids. She told me I was not allowed to go in & get them & that she was insistent that I leave immediately. I did but I went to tell Frank 1st. By this point I was in tears.
I wonder if Jesus himself walked into that church if they would even recognize Him.
God knew we were supposed to leave.
It just breaks my heart.
We don't search for perfect churches to attend. We truly know that the church is not perfect. But when the people within the church literally verbally attack a 1st time guest I guess I find that disturbing.
this is the first time I have ever felt persecuted by a body of Christ following believers.