I’m not sure what it is like where you live, but in my part of the world August can be rather hit and miss for church attendance. This weekend in particular is a bank holiday weekend in the UK, so many are away on holiday or visiting friends or family.
Church attendance can take a hit when this happens, understandably. However, I have also noticed a few visitors to our church over the summer months. We live in an area where holiday makers often visit, and so we occasionally have people join our congregation for just one or two weeks.
I remember a time (before children) where my wife and I went away for a week or two, and while there visited a nearby church for their Sunday service. The congregation were very friendly and welcoming, and it was enjoyable to join with a totally new group of believers in worship. While we did not come away having made lifelong friends with anyone, it made a nice change and just because we were “away” did not mean we were away from worship.
Are you away this weekend? Are you getting away from your normal life for a few weeks? My Sunday Suggestion this week is simply to visit another church while away. We nearly all have phones these days and access to the Internet, so it doesn’t take a huge amount of effort to find a local church and work out their service times. It may be a blessing to them to see some new faces, even for one week, and it may be an encouragement to you too.
I understand that we all have preferences when it comes to churches, and more than just preference, I am not suggesting you join in with just any group calling themselves “Christian.” Clearly, we need to be discerning. If you do visit a fellowship which is not your “cup of tea,” then that won’t do you any great harm. Perhaps they worship with a pipe organ, and you prefer electric guitar. Perhaps they space out their music throughout the service, whereas you prefer to have it all together at the start. The point is not to have everything your way, but to unite with fellow believers and support the Body of Christ in a different part of the world.
There is no one way to worship, nor is there only one way to “do” church. We are connected to the rest of the church, and this is particularly clear when we share in Communion. Visiting a church may feel a bit odd, or even a chore when you just want to enjoy your break, but you never know what God might have in store for you if you do. Likewise, you do not know how God might use you to be a blessing in that place.
If you do choose to visit a new congregation this week, or in the near future, I hope it proves a positive experience for you. Have a great weekend, and if you are away, enjoy your time to rest and relax.
P.S. – don’t forget to mention the blog where you got the idea from!