Anonymous

It’s Sunday morning, during normal church time. And yet, I sit at home on my computer, writing my thoughts, laying my soul bare for the world to read.

A few months ago, my family and I moved to a new town. While the distance to my job is similar, it’s a much smaller town than we used to live. The community is tight-knit, which is cool. And even for its size, there are five churches in town.

We haven’t been to any of them yet.

At this point we’ve had “convenient” excuses … moving, COVID, the kids getting sick (not with covid,) the winter/snow, blah blah. In reality though, my true underlying excuse stems from the desire to remain anonymous and the impossibility of doing so.

With large churches, you can come and go without anyone really noticing, and in a lot of cases, without anyone really caring. It was that way at the church I went to when I was first out of college, before getting married. There were a ton of opportunities to get plugged into different areas. And yet at the same time, someone new could easily come and go without anyone noticing.

In reality, we’re not meant to be anonymous. We’re intended to be in relationships with other believers…to be able to experience the intimate knowledge of each others’ lives. Which is a good thing! It holds us accountable, helps us through difficult situations, allows us to work together on things that would be difficult or impossible on our own, allows us to use our strengths to help others in areas that they’re comparatively weak (and vice-versa,) to pool and share our resources for the benefit of everyone, and so on.

As the outsiders coming into a small community, folks are already aware of our arrival in town. “Trying out” the different churches will be complicated by that fact – “we’re the new folks who came for one week and didn’t come back.” “Why?”

In all honesty, life isn’t always easy. Faith can be even more difficult. But just because something is difficult, doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile. And while the enemy likes to try to convince me that trying to get plugged into a new church in a new town is going to be awkward and uncomfortable, I still need to do it.