Are You Coming?


Have you ever noticed that person sitting in the very back row at church? Maybe you have observed them nervously glancing around the room, while avoiding eye contact with anyone. Or maybe you noticed them fidgeting with their hands, unsure of what they should be doing.

Or better yet, have you been that person?

I have.

Before the fall of 2016, you could not have paid me enough money to walk into a church, have a seat, and stay throughout the entire sermon. You may be asking yourselves why I felt so negatively about the church setting. Well, for me, the church had nothing to do with it. I felt so uncomfortable within the church because of who I was. 

If you’re a follower of Jesus, you may start thinking kind thoughts about how we are all welcomed by Jesus and that there is no perfect follower of Christ. But if you haven’t had the opportunity to grow in Christ and to learn more about Him, you would have no clue that a love like that exists. Not understanding that, and living in a way that you believe is looked down on by Him, can make you feel dirty.

Dirty is how I felt anytime I walked into the church setting. I did not feel comfortable, I did not feel like I belonged, and worse, I did not feel like I was wanted there. In my mind, I had to correct all of my sinfulness before I could walk into church. I prayed to God most nights, and talking to Him was okay, but being in His house just seemed all wrong if I wasn’t 100% committed.

I distinctly remember visiting my current home church (Southland Christian Church) a couple of years before I dedicated my life to Christ. I was a young college student and went with a group of friends who were in my sorority. My friends led us towards the front of the room, near the stage. When I realized we were going to sit near the front, I felt paralyzed. I did not understand why we, a group of people who typically did not attend church, would suddenly sit so close to the front. In my mind, I wasn’t worthy of sitting so close to the stage. I needed to sit in the back until I got my life together a little bit more — until I felt clean enough to be around the other Christians.

A few years after that church service, I started attending Southland Christian Church regularly. But you better believe that I did not sit anywhere near the front of the room. Nope. I sat in the very back of the room. In some ways, it felt like I was hiding. I was hiding my shame. I didn’t want others in the room to see me because I didn’t want them to see all of my sins — my imperfections.

If there is one piece of advice that I can give you, it is this: you are good enough.

You can attend church before you feel “clean”. Do you want to know why? Because you’re not dirty! Jesus loves you. He died on the cross to free you from your sins. He wants you to come to Him. He wants you to be at that service, sitting in the front row (if that is what you’re comfortable with), praising Him!

The fact is that Jesus knows where you’ve been. He knows that you party, He knows what laws you have broken, He knows all of the people you have slept with, He knows all the drugs you have done… He knows everything. 

And yet, He still wants you. He still loves you.

You do not have to feel uncomfortable walking into church. You do not have to feel as though you don’t measure up. Everyone at church sins — the only person who never sinned was Jesus himself. We are all sinners {Romans 5:8}. If you want to go to church, go. Don’t let your own fear stop you. Don’t let shame stop you. Don’t let self-doubt stop you. If you feel the urge to go, then you should go. Jesus is calling you there. He is calling you to Him. He is calling you to a community of welcoming, Christ followers.

Speaking as a fellow church member, we want you to come. 

As always, if you need to talk to someone, visit my ‘Contact’ page. I would love to chat with you. And if you’re near the Lexington area and are interested in attending church for the first time, you are always more than welcome to come with me!

{1 Peter 3:8} {Romans 12:5} {Psalm 94:18}

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