Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Shaky on shaking hands

So... I can't decide what to do. I thought I had decided, but now I'm unsure.

I have always been the first to leave the sanctuary on Sunday mornings after our worship gatherings. That way I could get to the bottom of the stairs and shake everyone's hand as they were leaving the sanctuary and entering the main hallway where the cookie and coffee table is (which then leads to the exit). I have always enjoyed this time, because it gives me a chance to meet any visitors, as well as catch up with people, even with just a word or two.

However, several weeks ago I had a conversation with someone (one-sided as it was), and they stated in several different ways how it was "MY Sunday service," or "MY worship service," and a few other ways I can't really recall. What I heard was someone stating that they thought the church was a little too much about me. And they weren't really being critical even. But it came across that they really felt like it was MY church, and everything they did, and the reason they attended on Sundays, was because of ME. I believe this also led to them being very hurt when they thought that *I* had disrespected them. Which, in turn, has caused them to leave the church.

It has honestly been troubling me for almost 2 months now. And I've not known what to do about it. So, what I had decided was that I needed to somehow get across that this is not MY church, but it is GOD'S church. It's also not MY worship service. One thing that I thought might help is if I no longer shook everyone's hand as they left. Perhaps this does make it seem a little too much like I am the center of it all; when in actuality, it is ALL OF US who make up the church here. So I would still do my thing, but when the service was over, we would all depart in like manner. And if someone needed to speak to me, I would always be available up front. This is actually how most churches operate anymore to my knowledge. I don't remember the last time I was at a church where the pastor shook everyone's hand as they left.

However, after not doing this the past 2 Sundays I was here... it feels odd. It's like I have now lost the most valuable time I had to relate to people on Sunday mornings. So I am torn as to whether or not this is the right thing to do. Am I just being selfish - because I like to greet people before they leave? Or is there another way to make a difference and make it not seem so much like it's MY church (or my service)? I honestly don't know. I don't want it to seem like I don't care about people and I don't want to lose touch, but I also want to get across that we're all in this together. I could use some help.