Robert offered me the seat next to him. I thanked him, but pointed to Mindy in the row ahead and said I was sitting with her. It was greeting time during the beginning of the worship service at Churchome in downtown Seattle. His offer was a little thing, but I appreciated it.
For nearly four years, Mindy and I have been professional church visitors. (Not “professional” meaning getting paid for it, but in the sense of commitment. We’ve been visiting churches and ministries most weeks since August of 2014, and writing about it since November of that year.) Almost every Sunday, we’ve walked into a new place and seen all new faces. Sometimes people acknowledge us and sometimes they don’t. It’s worth noting when people do a good job of greeting visitors, and Churchome did a very good job, with me especially.
The first thing I noticed in the lobby was a set-up for what looked like a photo shoot. I found out it was part of the church’s promotion for small group ministries. I told Carley, one of the women hosting the station, about our project of visiting churches, and we talked about what she liked about Churchome. She said, “The community; it’s easy to become a part of things.”
The message came from Matthew 10 (which was interesting because that had been the text the week before at Elim Baptist). That’s the passage where Jesus said, “I didn’t come to bring peace but a sword.” Judah Smith said it was one of the most challenging passages he’s ever preached.
Mary and Martha, he said one of our problems in the church is “doing things for God while we are thinking of ourselves… Do you know why you think God owes you? Because you’re doing things for God while thinking about yourself. This is why weird things happen in the church: gossip, backstabbing, infighting.” If we put Jesus first, other things fall in line.
we go to bars and write about them just to be trendy and cool.)