sTranGers in tHe hOuse

Yesterday my Chipper received a call from a nice gentleman inviting him to be the guest speaker for their church this weekend. I gotta tell you-it was a happy time around our house for those few minutes. When your world revolves around what goes on at the church-it’s hard to just leave it behind.

People don’t fully grasp our zeal-our passion– even a little obsession. Pastors and most of the time their wives want things perfect when our family arrives at the house. It’s kind of like how you feel when blood family comes to your place for a special occasion or simple visit. That’s how we desire our church to be for the family whenever we get together.

When we visit another church-it’s a bit different than when a non pastor’s family visits. It’s not that we can’t enjoy worshiping with another family, it’s just that most of us have moved away from our blood families and have to give up all the normal times that we’d spend with them if we lived closer. We don’t go home for Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and most holidays until after they’re over. When we leave our church-we leave our family-the ones who we spend most of our time with all during the year.

If our church is doing what it’s supposed to be doing, the visitors won’t feel like outsiders-but, we can’t berate ourselves because we LOVE our family and are happy to get together with them for worship and fellowship every week. I tell you what, if church is a dread for the regular family-we’ve got a major problem! 😀

I’m ready to join the church family waiting for us and I hope that they’re as excited about us coming as we are about getting there. I pray that we won’t overwhelm them too quickly with our endless ideas and dreams. My Chipper and I are known for different things, some better than others-but, you certainly won’t hear it said that we’re lazy! We thrive on keeping the body healthy and happy. Our previous church families for the most part anyway welcomed us, learned to love who and what we are and made us feel like a part of them with little effort. I anticipate that happening again.

While I appreciate the kindness at several of the local churches where we’ve been visiting-they aren’t our church. Take my advice and know that it comes from a heart that understands the loneliness of not being with a church family. When you gather with yours this week, overlook the small, petty things that irk you and be grateful for the place that GOD’S given you to grow. Hug more necks, shake more hands, spend more time letting your brothers and sisters know how happy you are to be churchmates with them. Focus on what makes you happy to be a member of your church.

Be thankful that you’re not the stranger in the house-but-remember how those who don’t belong feel. The ONLY way the church can grow is if those who aren’t a part of your family-believe that you really do want them there and are willing to do whatever it takes to make room in the pews.

After all-there really is no place like home.

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