SITTING ALONE AT CHURCH
(Psa 68:6) God sets the solitary in families . . .
I would like to address something I have seen often at church. And that is people coming in by themselves and sitting alone in the worship service. Now for some this is no big deal. They want to be left alone. Or it could be that they like their own company and do not feel socially awkward at all. Others may just be used to it, having experienced this for so long. But for many, it just may be something they struggle with because being out in public and in a room by yourself may accentuate feelings of loneliness and not fitting in.
The reasons for sitting alone in church vary from individual to individual. For some it’s because they have recently given their lives to the Lord and have been seeking a church to be a part of. No one will go with them because they haven’t any real Christian connections yet in their newfound faith. Others are married to non-believers who are not interested in spiritual things. Some are the only committed Christian in their “Christian” family. It could also be for the simple fact that they have moved into a new community and are not able to attend their old church anymore.
For me it was an interesting situation. I was attending Bible college that had a denominational background I was not a part of. Most of the students attended churches in that affiliation. I personally could not relate to that form of worship. I had in mind what I wanted (or really needed). It was important for me to have strong Bible teaching, not just exciting worship or experiences in the “Spirit.” So I attended Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa with pastor Chuck Smith. It was (and still is) a very large church. I have to admit it was not easy for me to walk into this church all by myself. But the teaching of the Word of God and how it affected my personal growth was irresistible. That need took precedent over my social life. If I had to sit alone then so be it. I was at the feet of Jesus and spending time with Him. This was more satisfying than hanging out with my friends at another church where I believe I would starve spiritually.
How I thank God for those ushers who made me feel welcome. As I sat down there would be a few smiles from others. I tried not to look too nervous or uncomfortable. I especially enjoyed the greeting time as it gave opportunity to connect with fellow church members, if even for a brief moment. After Bible study I would walk out to my car and just rejoice all the way home. The Lord helped me past this social barrier and I was growing in my walk with the Lord. Later I would move back home and get back in with my home church and the people I knew. But because of that time in my life I have developed a sensitivity to others who are sitting alone at church. I respect their commitment to what they are doing and I pray for them and seek to connect with them and welcome them into the fellowship of the saints. I ask the Lord to strengthen their resolve to always do the right thing even at a personal cost to their own needs.