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When you go to church on Sunday, do you have a number of people still filing in after the service has started?
The reason I ask his, when DH and I attended our old church, service would start at appointed time and the sanctuary would be about half full, then people would start coming in when the praise and worship music started -by the time it was over, the sanctuary would be full. We figured it was because our services typically ran late and there wasn't much time between the services (literally one would get out about the time the next one was supposed to start). But I guess we were wrong - our new church has plenty of time between the services and yet the same thing happens. So I was wondering is this common everywhere or is just a Southern California thing?
Personally I find it rather sad - I understand a few people walking in late - particulary if they have kids and it is hard to get them out the door, then you have to sign them in class - but when it is half the attenders - it is rather disruptive.
We only have a few people that do this. Mainly my Sister in law, but she is a single mom to 2 kids, so I understand.
In my house it's my, dh, and two kids. It's not always easy on Sunday mornings trying to get us all ready, it does take some preparation the night before. But DH has to be at the church at 9:30 to unlock the doors, so he usually leaves at 9:15 with DS, and I'm doing last minute fixes on my hair and getting DD ready, then we make it to church around 9:45-10:00. Sunday school starts at 10 a.m, so I try to get there before then....I hate walking in late!
Getting WAY off topic for a bit, but I wanted to share this.
We've been going to this new church for 5 months. DH and another preacher friend pioneered it. There were some circumstances that occured in my previous church, I'd been attending there for 11 years. My parents still go there. At first it seemed to be a bit of a nasty church split, but now we can see God's hand working through it all. It's still difficult sometimes because I left my parents, and all of my best friends.
Here is where I see God's hand.
At my other church, I hardly ever made it to Sunday School. I just couldn't get things together on Sunday mornings, so I'd either walk in at 10:30 or just wait until the service time at 11:00. I also was not very sociable AT ALL! I usually only talked to a few select people, mainly by best friends. It wasn't like I was being a snob, but I'm shy, so I didn't feel comfortable talking to people that I really didn't know. I felt dry, my spirit was dry! And that's not a good place to be. (I'm sure you'd all agree)
I really didn't care then if I was late or not. I wasn't expecting to hear from God while I was there, so making it on time wasn't an issue for me.
Where we live, we have to pass by that church to go anywhere, well unless we take back roads that takes us about 3-5 minutes longer to get any place. So on Sunday mornings I am so excited to go to church. I go expecting God to do something, and He usually does. It is so strange now to pass by my old church at 9:30 on Sunday mornings, knowing that I could never make it at 10:00 there.
I have a desire to be there every service, and to be there on time. I don't want to miss anything!
The Lord has helped me to come out of my shell a little bit. I've had to make new friends there, and I've made quite a few. I no longer worried about talking to people and wondering what they will think about me.
This past week, my brother in law, who goes to church with us. He was witnessing to a girl at school all day on Wednesday. He asked the girl if she wanted to get saved, and she said not right now. She just moved down here with her grandparents, and they attend our old church. Brother in law made her promise that that night at church she would talk to the pastor there. So she did, and she ended up getting saved.
That was AWESOME to see how the two churches worked together in bringing someone to the Lord.
There are still people on both sides of the fence who are still bitter over things that have happened. But I am so glad that God gave me victory of the bitterness that I had. And although I still don't agree with what transpired, I've been able to forgive everyone, with God's help of course.
My friends and I had a hard time in the beginning. But we're just like old buds again! And I am so thankful for that.
Oh and by the way, we go the Rescue Mission every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. I wasn't able to go last night because I didn't have a babysitter. But our pastors son who is 8 yrs old got saved!
How exciting Heather! It seems like so many people in your life are getting saved, how wonderful!!
I know what you mean about not being able to get to services because you didn't feel God would move in you. I grew up in a christian home, my father was the pastor. I don't know about you, or any other people here who may have been a PK, but hearing your Dad preach just is kinda hard. I don't know why. Anyways, when I went away to university and found my own church, I became alive, was always there on time, etc. When I went home for the summers and back to my Dad's church I could barely drag myself out of bed on Sunday mornings.
Now, I love going to church. My husband and I get up early (although we have Aiden, our personal alarm clock that usually "goes off" at 7 every morning) and get the three of us ready.
We do have a few strays at our church, but not too many. Steve and I sit in the front (or close to it -- took me some time to get used to, lol) so we don't really notice the strays.
Occasionally some people get there late, but most everyone is there on time.
If you want to be there on time then you will make sure it happens. I have 5 children that I get ready by myself (dh is usually not done his chores untill 9:15) and we get to church on time. Funny thing is, if I am going by myself (not very often, but sometimes dh has problems outside) I get there earlier than when there's 2 of us.
We try not to show up late. Most people are in there seats by the time the 1st worship song is over.
Heather, I am glad you found such a great place. My church is the same way. God makes me want to be there, get involved and keep going. It is actually on the other side of town but it is well worth the 30 minute drive. I feel so good being there and I am blessed to have found it.
Occasionally some people get there late, but most everyone is there on time.
If you want to be there on time then you will make sure it happens. I have 5 children that I get ready by myself (dh is usually not done his chores untill 9:15) and we get to church on time. Funny thing is, if I am going by myself (not very often, but sometimes dh has problems outside) I get there earlier than when there's 2 of us.[/b]
That's how it goes here!
Men say we take too long!!! It just proves them wrong.... it takes so darn long because they take their sweet time and slow things down in the process...
well...our church has over 5,000 in attendance each sunday..split up into 3 services though! and although i don't really agree with it much....i don't think they let anyone in after our pastor has started preaching....because they don't want the service disrupted. i mean..i see it and then i see also..whoa..what if someone was coming to church for their 1st time ever....i dont know exactly how it is handled though..so i really can't say what they do exactly about that! i do know we have simulcast in other areas of the church if people would like to go in there if they arrive late! also..no small children are allowed in the services at our church.................lots of people hate that rule...but i for one enjoy it! i love not being distracted by my kids or someone elses! we have awesome children's ministry there...so a big part of it is that they want our kids to learn about Jesus on their level instead of being bored sitting in with us!