Have you ever gone to a new church and felt like a "stranger in a foreign land?". I know what the Israelites felt like in Egypt! (I'm kidding-it wasn't quite THAT bad). Thankfully, when a minister has their first Sunday in a new church, the members (or at least some from the search committee or deacons) will speak to his wife and make her feel welcome. I did go to a Sunday School class on my first Sunday in a new church one time and they didn't know who I was. Several members were already there but the teacher wasn't. Nobody spoke to me. I found a seat and sat alone. Others talked among themselves, ignoring me. As more members came in, they all avoided me. I felt so alone! Eventually, one of the deacon's wives I had met the night before came in and she sat with me.
I'm sure many of you have had similar experiences. Tomorrow, my husband is going to be a guest speaker at a church in another town. I'll be going with him. These experiences are always awkward for me. Usually, someone is assigned to meet him and give him instructions. They are sometimes friendly to me and sometimes just barely speak to me. I usually end up sitting alone on a row near the front of the church or sometimes get to sit beside my husband on the front row if he doesn't have to be on the platform the entire service. We both usually go through the congregation and speak to the members before the service begins (especially in smaller churches). Rarely, have I ever had anyone invite me to sit with them. I always feel very awkward and out of place in these situations. Tomorrow may be a little better since the pastor of the church will be in attendance. Hopefully, his wife will at least invite me to sit with her. One thing we can all learn from this is to ask our husband to assign a lady to greet any visiting minister's wife and invite her to sit with her during the services. Another is, we should treat all visitors the way we would want to be treated if WE were the visitor. Please pray for me and my husband tomorrow and I pray each of you will have a wonderful Sunday!