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Going To Church

st andrews service

Sunday morning in St Andrew’s Scotland; 10:15am and we’re off to church. Out the front door, up the road, through the car park, and into the local high school auditorium.

Strangers look at us and smile. As we approach the entrance another stranger says hello and holds out a piece of paper. We grab it quickly and enter a large hall with hundreds of chairs and masses of people comfortably running around and talking to one another.

We don’t share their comfort. All sorts of thoughts run through our head. ‘Where should we sit? What’s going to happen? Will it be weird? Is there any means of escape? How long will all this last? What if nobody talks to us? Let’s hope we can make a quick getaway. Aaargh!!!’ And all this from a pastor who has spent the best part of his life going to church.

Going to an unfamiliar church, particularly if you’re not a regular church goer, is an incredibly stressful experience. It’s a walk into the unknown, with the sure knowledge that you will be trapped for at least an hour.

St Andrews Baptist was a great church. Every Sunday we were glad we went. But every Sunday we felt the same emotions.

It would have been so much easier if we had gone with a friend. It’s the same here at Penno. Going to church is hard work. It’s much easier if you can go with a friend. So be a friend. Invite others to church and then look after them. And if you see someone without a friend, make the effort to be a friend.