Our church had a Hindu family visit with us this past week. They found us by accident and were not there to join us because we worship a Triune God. That God brought them to us is a bit of a mystery, but we are glad for the opportunity to introduce them to Jesus.
What struck me about this family’s presence is that what we do as a church is fairly unusual for anyone not familiar with Christian culture. From the perspective of someone who does not know how churches function, what does a typical service look like? I imagine that our lecture style seating/assembly is odd, along with when we sing. Why do we sing? Who do we sing to? Do they think that we might be singing to our worship leader rather than God?
What would someone make of the preaching? Referring to the Bible might be commonplace for Christians, but how might a Hindu or Buddhist understand this? Does their practice of religion resemble that of a Christian so that they would have an idea of what is going on?
When we minister to people who are not Christians and have no background for understanding our “traditions” and/or “rituals” how do we help them process what we do?
If you have faced a similar situation, how did you handle it? What can we do to encourage our visitors to meet Christ as opposed to be turned off because we are insensitive or have created an artificial barrier (through our particular practice of faith) to Jesus that He never intended?