Have you ever felt odd walking into a worship experience, not having a clue what to do or why? Did you ever feel like you were totally out of place, like you did not belong? Did you ever visit trying to meet, connect with and explore God but the experience itself got in the way?
At Way Stations we cannot explain what specific faith communities do or why, but we can try to help you to do your part, to make the most of your worship experience, and hopefully help you to find what you are looking for as you seek the place the best brings you into community with God, Christ, Holy Spirit, and genuine Christ-like folks.
Open Up, Give It Up, Soak It Up!
Open Up: When you visit a worship experience you may be tempted to look at everything that happens from your own point of view. When you try something new you need to be fair and open minded and receptive to what is being offered. Make up your mind in advance to learn, to be open to the experience. Take notes and save evaluation for debriefing after the visit.
Presume the people are trying to do something good. Presume the God you seek is a God who also seeks to be real and in touch with you. Look for what you can learn. Go with positive attitude and you will be open to what good the experience can offer.
Give It Up: When doing a new thing to get the most out of it you need to put your best into it. Before you go, try to find out in advance what they do and how they do it. Find out what to expect. It helps if you can go with someone you know who has been there before or who attends regularly. They can help you prepare and to get the most out of the experience. You could try calling or emailing in advance and asking for information on how it works or what to expect. (Their response could tell you a lot too.)
When you attend try to participate as best you can. Do not expect to understand or to enjoy everything at the first time. Do not deny yourself the good that could come by surprise. Worship experiences should have some degree of mystery, discovery, inspiration and wonder.
Soak It Up: Notice everything. Watch and listen from the moment you arrive on the grounds through the moment you leave the area. Observe the people, the art, the architecture, the music, the personalities, the experiences, the words, prayers, attitudes, friendliness, and the spiritual elements you encounter. Observe your own emotions and reactions; examine your thoughts and feelings throughout. Note the character of the people you meet. Note questions. Talk to those with whom you attended and debrief the full experience. (Sometimes this works best with a meal or refreshment at another location.)
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