Sunday, March 14, 2010


Church. The very word makes me nauseous at the moment. It's the scariest and loneliest place I can think of. Interesting, since the very core of what it is supposed to be is accepting and safe.

What is the point of that stupid meet-and-greet time? Seriously. Five to seven minutes of awkwardly shaking hands and faking a "Hi, nice to meet you." BS. To be quite honest I hate shaking your clammy hand and it's really not that nice to meet you because, let's be honest, we'll never talk again because we don't really know each other and people at church don't care to meet other people.....everyone already has their little friend group.

I'm seriously considering going to an AA meeting every Sunday morning, where time is actually set aside for you to introduce yourself. "Hi, my name is Kristen, and I'm messed up." And in response, everyone welcomes me. Not only that, but people take time to drink their coffee TOGETHER and talk about REAL life $**t.

Seriously, it's no wonder that "non-church-goers" don't want to become "church-goers." Can't say that I'd recommend it. I've been going to the same church (off and on through all my moves) since Jan 2001 and haven't met a single friend there.....not ONE. Pretty awesome. But I still keep going.....because I love Jesus. I love learning about Him. I love the freedom to sing my love for Him. I love His love. I love His truth....His acceptance....His grace. And for that hour and a half, there is no where else I would rather be. I dread the end because I want to stay in that moment forever....with Him. But then "church" ends and the reality of the over comes me as quickly as the lights are switched on. Ugh.

It would be great to meet new friends who share my faith. Ever since graduating from a tiny, Christian college 6 years ago, I'd venture to say that I've made more friends that don't share my faith than those who do. Interesting. And I love those friends. I feel accepted. But it's hard, because my soul longs to talk about spiritual matters.....spiritual matters in the every day sense. Life is spiritual. There are a million different "religions" in this world, and don't all of them embody some sort of faith factor and spiritual dimension? I would think so. Aren't we all, in many areas of our life, drawn to certain types of people or places? Because of that, I'm drawn....or at least, also meet friends who value, challenge, and hang onto the same faith as I have chosen. And so I try. I introduce myself to people at church. Awkward. I've tried small groups. Awkward. I've gone on missions trips. Awkward. I've gone to church events. Awkward and usually miserable.

Listening to a sermon podcast and going to an AA meeting sounds like a much less awkward approach to this thing called church.


  1. I completely know what you mean. Sometimes I wish churches used an "awkward meter", or were at least sensitive to those moments. They can't be completely socially retarded. This morning at church two WAY too enthusiastic people bounced up on stage and tried to get us to say "good morning" louder and louder, then they had a trivia game in which we had to get in groups of five and run up there when we had the answers. Theo squeezed my hand, and I knew it's because his awkward radar was blipping off the charts. But I hate to say, we did meet Carol and...Carol's husband...and it's the first time I've talked to someone else during service. Even just that tiny interaction made me feel more like a participant, and less like an observer. Doesn't always happen that way -- sometimes it makes me shrink back even more.

    Miss goin to church with you. ;)

  2. awkward radar was off the charts just reading your comment. Haha....sounds like church. I did smile, though, when you said you met Carol....and Carol's husband. Don't know who Carol is. Maybe I can go to your awkward church one sunday and meet Carol too. :)

    Can't wait to see you tomorrow. Let's hang out in Hollywood and "do church" over coffee....AA style. Hi, I'm Kristen, and I'm messed up.

  3. Lol, yeah, i went to a tiny Christian College too, and the only person I still talk to from there is Justin. And at our church, I am involved and part of the worship team and in a small group, and it still feels awkward for me too, and it is hard for me to have small talk with strange people and feel like they aren't really listening to me. But we still keep going to church events and stay involved and meet as many people as we can, because I am constantly praying for God to bring people into our lives that can challenge us and share our faith with us. But nothing is better than having one or two people that you can have awesome, deep spiritual conversations with over coffee without feeling judged or like a sinner. We have met a few people that are so valuable to us and we can go to them anytime and we have amazing conversations, so there is hope amidst the awkwardness.:o) I will pray for you that God brings some people in your life that you can have spiritual experiences with. And I would love to talk about our love of Jesus with you! :oD

  4. Total AMEN about the "meet and greet" part of most churches now days. Hate that!! But also agree that I would not trade a good singing time of worship for anything!! Even if it does mean we have to suffer through the shaking hands and smiling at strangers part of the experience. Miss you SO much, Kristen, and pray for you daily. Let us know if you are headed to GA before July for some reason....we would love to see you before we head back to Africa!!

  5. Kristen,
    Our family (The Gailers) miss you a lot!! Josh is graduating today and Johnny's a sophomore at TFC. I'm about to be a junior in high school. Life is still crazy here...never a dull moment! You should come back and visit Paradise sometime soon!!
    -Allysa Gailer :)

  6. I'm smiling while remembering strategies said anonymous person employs to avoid the meet-and-greet. I love church over coffee. Wonder what it is about AA that leaves you feeling welcomed?... you are not alone. AA is a great place for God.