Tonight was a great night as we had a block party outreach. There was a young couple that came who I met for the first time tonight. I just love people like this young couple who had their first child and now are sensing a need to come back to church. The one major hang-up was the fact he wondered why so many pastors have different interpretations of the bible. I told him that I wonder the same thing. He went on to talk about how he is a bit of an outcast and not sure he would fit in at a church....I simply responded that I went to an Alice Cooper concert last week. You could instantly see us connecting...I went on to ask him if he was a gamer, I had him at this point. We began to talk all things X-Box 360 and online gaming.
What really got to me about this guy is that his story is all to familiar. He has some issues to work through and when he gets into a church, there are usually those people that get into his life and want to lay hands on them right away and pray out what he is dealing with. Once they have been "delivered" they want them to become a member and get involved. Meanwhile, this person is wondering what in the world is going on.
This kind of scenario ends up in the person leaving wondering if there is a church where they can just unwind. I am a pastor that encourages people to come in and find rest and refuge without being asked to do anything. I don't know new people from Adam and I will not pretend to know them like that. In my opinion I think the best thing a church can sometimes offer a new person is anonymity and just let them come and enjoy the service...NO STRINGS ATTACHED. If they want to come late and leave right when it is dismissed...so be it. I don't know what they are dealing with and to come into a church and defrag (sorry I am a geek) can be the healthiest thing for that person. When they are ready to talk and get to know others better...they will let you know.