Is there anything worse for a Christian than walking into a new church for the first time?
I am pretty sure it’s the worst thing that can happen to us. It’s so bad for me that I’ve only done it once in the year since I moved to Detroit.
There are a few things that everyone should know before committing to a new church and it’s not what kind of small groups they have or whether the Pastor preaches “straight from the Bible.”
No, there are far more serious considerations. For instance, what’s the coffee like and…. well that’s pretty much it, but in any case, here are a frustratingly 9, not 10 helpful (but mostly completely useless) “tips” to getting through the first morning in a new church, unscathed.
1. When, at the beginning of the service, the Pastor invites you to say Hi to the people around you, jokingly pretend to introduce yourself to your best friend beside you even though you drove together, just so you don’t have to go through the effort of having to actually say Hi to the guy who you don’t really care what He does for a job.
2. Free Starbucks coffee??? I feel like I’ve just won the lottery! Just don’t ask for a 13 shot venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra white mocha and caramel. It ain’t happening.
3. When the band starts playing and people gradually begin to stand up, you MUST stand up also. Even if you don’t feel like it. Especially if you don’t feel like it. Jesus died for you, the least you can do is stand for 10 minutes.
4. If, after about the 7th run through the chorus of that song the band are clearly using to fill up time because they didn’t practice this week, you want to sit down you may. Simply, sit down slowly and bow your head and close your eyes, embracing the “don’t bother him, he’s full of the Spirit” posture. Everyone will be astounded by your holiness for clearly being moved by Blessed Be Your Name….still, and you can catch up on some shut eye from staying up to 3am the previous night, looking at porn. Win, win.
5. Don’t know the song? Don’t worry, neither does the person controlling the powerpoint.
6. If the church announcements guy starts talking about what’s “trending” this week in the life of the church community, leave. You’ve accidentally wandered into Twitter.
7. Speaking of Twitter, live tweeting the sermon is simply how we use technology to spread the Gospel. And give off the appearance you were listening of course. Just make sure you have a suitably clever hashtag ready like #Rockinworship or #seriouslypastorthatwasonlyyourfirstpoint? And yeah, if you want to check the score of the game your missing for this while you’re at it, go for it. It’s all for His Glory.
8. WARNING! WARNING! THE COLLECTION PLATE IS COMING YOUR WAY! DON’T FREAK OUT!! I know, I know. You don’t want to seem like the stingy guy. But this is your first week and you’re not ready to commit financially yet…. Sure, go with that if it helps you sleep better.
9. Don’t tell anyone you like Rob Bell. You’ll be small group black listed forever. (Tweet this)
Anyone else have helpful tips for surviving your first week in a new church?
Let me know. I need all the help I can get.