When I first moved down to Cleveland I did some church hopping to find the right place to settle into. Several were good churches that I just didn't feel comfortable in and others just held no appeal for me. However, there was one church that I really couldn't find much positive to say anything about when I left. I felt uncomfortable the entire time I was there. The worship was fairly contemporary and there was nothing about the atmosphere that should have put me off. But I did feel singled out without feeling welcome, I thought there theology was slightly off the deepend and quite frankly when they started to pray at the end of service, I made a mad dash for the door. I was extremely relieved that I'd gone alone and the church was in walking distance of my apartment. I never went back.
Being in community service has really opened my eyes to what goes in the community. I come into contact with various churches and organizations all the time. What surprises me is that often the churches that people think would be doing much aren't doing much at all. In contrast, this church that made me feel so uncomfortable is one of the most active, community oriented churches that I've found in Cleveland.
I may not be comfortable there but I can no longer deny the good they are trying to do in the community. I, officially, stand corrected and repent over the harsh judgement I placed on them. They are doing what they can to relieve the suffering that they see around them. That's more than I can say for many others and, if I'm honest, more than I can say about myself much of the time.
Appearances can be decieving and first impressions aren't always right.