The church is much more than a building to the believer. It is a place where they gather to hear God’s Word and feel His presence, to fellowship with one another, to worship the Lord together and it is also the Body of Christ. Its members make up the body and Christ is the Head.
Many non Christians attend church, and while Christians (especially friends and family) delight in their presence and pray they come to know Christ soon after visiting, that greatly depends upon why they are there and how open their mind and heart are. Here are some helpful tips for visiting a church with your mind and heart open, because there’s no other way to visit.
Keys to Keep in Mind
Many non Christians are dragged to church by Christian friends and family members. Has this been the case in your church attendance? Hopefully, your loved ones understand that accepting Christ is your very personal decision and that by physically being in His house, you are not changing unless you are open to that change. The fact that you are reading this article tells that you are interested in doing more than just sitting in a church. Maybe you’ve never gone. Maybe you’ve felt out of place when going in the past. Visit a church for you, not for anyone else.
Don’t Miss the Message
While much of a preacher’s message may not speak to you the way it speaks to the believer, when you keep not only your ears, but your heart and mind open you will be surprised at how God seems to give just the right words to the speaker, words you need to hear. Listen carefully, and if anything being said makes you feel out of place know that you need not head for the door. That is God speaking to you; it can be difficult to hear about and admit to the wrong in our lives. You can quickly replace the feeling of being out of place by accepting Christ right then, and becoming a part of His family.
Don’t Judge Christ by Any Church
While the church is meant to represent Christ, its members are human and may fail to represent Him as positively as possible. If you attend a church and the members do not appeal to you, you don’t like the music played during worship, the way the preacher preached or anything else about that particular church, please visit another until you find the one that makes you most comfortable – but is bible teaching. Remember, while church is important, it isn’t the basis of a relationship with Christ.
Feeling Comfortable in Church
There is a certain amount of discomfort experienced by all who attend church when they know they are not right with God. Yet, this should not hinder your attempt to get the most out of your church visit. As you look around you and see others lifting their hands and bowing their heads, do remember that they once were where you are. And each of them has sinned. No one is better than you, so reach out to someone after the service if no one speaks to you first! If the church offers free bibles (most do) take one home, as well as any information about becoming a Christian and the Christian faith.
Whether you continue going to a particular church or visiting many, keep going! Hearing God’s Word and being among His loving and supportive people will prove important for you.
What is of the greatest importance though is this: don’t confuse going to church with actually being a Christian! Don’t spend your Sundays in church getting a mood boost and then go on sinning the rest of your week. Don’t feel as though you need to study the scriptures thoroughly before you can make the decision to become a Christian – just do it. Admit your sins to God and ask Him for assistance in turning away from them. If you believe in your heart that what you’ve been hearing from the church pews about Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection is true, share that with God.
When you welcome Him into your life, that is when you truly get the most out of a church visit.