Your Church and Your Weight Room

Posted: October 19, 2011 in Church
Tags: , , , ,

Just this past winter I started to try my best to try to go to the weight room on a consistent basis. If you know me, or have seen me at all, you know that I’m not the biggest guy around. I’ll admit, all I’ve ever done since 6th grade is run 34234702394 miles so, I’m pretty weaksause when it comes to lifting weights. Because of my inability to explode through the seams of my tight t-shirts, I gotta say, I wasn’t exactly very confident walking into the weight room. Why? 1. Because I was weak. 2. Because everyone else was so strong.

Almost from the moment that I would walk into the weight room, I felt like every eye was on me. I felt as if every massive, swollen, ripped, jacked, vein-busting person in there was looking at me. I imagined them laughing on the inside as the saw how frail I was. To be completely honest, I felt like I was being judged because I wasn’t as strong as everyone else there. Was every single person looking at me cause I was weak? No. Was every person thinking and how weak I looked? No. Was every person judging me because I wasn’t as strong as them? No. But that’s how I felt.

So, how do I know that everyone wasn’t thinking those things about me in that weight room? Because one guy by the name of Dominique would come up and talk to me every time. Dominique is a personal trainer at the gym, he would be one of the guys that would look as if they “fit in” at the gym. All it took was him talking to me and hanging out with me in the weight room for me to realize that people didn’t care how weak I was. Everyone was there for the same reason, to get stronger. Although I felt judged and looked down upon, conversations with Dominique would make me feel more like I belonged.

Okay. So what does this have to do with church? I’m glad you asked.

I invite people to church all the time. I get rejected all the time. The biggest reason? They feel like they’re going to get judged. More than likely they are unchurched. More than likely they aren’t feeling very spiritually strong. More than likely they feel like everyone at church already has it all together. More than likely they feel like they are millions of steps behind everyone else at church. Starting to sound familiar? (If not start reading from the beginning :p )

A major problem with new people coming into church is that they are going to feel this sense of judgement, just like I did in the weight room. Even though judgement is not always there doesn’t mean that people won’t feel judged. People in the weight room could care less about how weak I was, but I still felt judged. Church people could care less about someone’s past or their failures, but people are still going to feel judged.

So how do we fix this? A simple welcome. Love them. Talk with them. Listen to them. That’s all it took for me in the weight room. One simple conversation with Dominique and I felt as if I belonged there.

So church people: let’s love the guest and go out of our way to make them feel welcome!

And non-church goers: come on! We would love to see you and get to know about you. We won’t judge you, we’ll love you!

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