School started this week for just about every kid in Vancouver. What an interesting phenomenon! You can almost feel the anxiety in the air. New experiences, new friends, new systems to learn, and reputations to uphold. Delaney marched off to preschool on Wednesday with new clothes, freshly scrubbed from head to toe, and a little lipstick…because she is ALL girl! You could see her look around the room for something familiar to gain a little comfort from. Thankfully she had attended the same preschool last year and several friends returned as well, so she quickly acclimated. She ended up having a great time and skipped out 2 and a half hours later, so I’m pretty sure she’ll go back with a new boldness.
I imagine that anxiety is replicated when an adult walks into a church for the first time…especially if they have never been to a church before. How do I dress? What do I do? Will I stand out from all of the “regulars”?
At North Creek we do our best to alleviate as much tension as possible for our first time guests. Here’s the general experience at North Creek…
You walk right through the doors to a coffee pot. This is so you can be armed with a hot liquid. This completely stops strangers from feeling the need to hug you. We have great children’s areas that allow you to put your children in an environment that is fun, loud, and full of energy. This keeps your kids from having to sit with you in something called a “pew” and be still and quiet for two solid hours.
As you make your way into the main auditorium, you be relieved to notice that you don’t need to sit in a “pew” either. We have chairs…normal ones that allow you to have your own space. The nice guy at the door will hand you a program of some of the things you can expect at North Creek. This handy little thing will give you the opportunity to look busy reading so that you don’t have to talk to people if you don’t want to. If you do make yourself available to mingle, you won’t be ignored. We all like socializing…a lot.
The stage will be decorated really creatively and the music will be uplifting. Don’t worry, the guy who leads the music won’t ask you to stand up, raise your hands, or do a dance with a tamborine. As our guest, you can just sit in your seat and drink your coffee if you want to. Go ahead and just drink it all in…the coffee and our environment.
The message will be relevant and brief…no two hour service for you, either. You’ll be out of that room in an hour from start to finish, so the awkwardness will pass quickly. The preacher will also be speaking in words that real people understand and doing a great job of explaining new concepts. You’ll learn, you’ll grow, and it will be understandable with or without a master’s degree in Bible.
So, that’s our strategy in a nutshell. We want you to feel what Jesus made people feel…comfortable, disarmed, and excited to become a better person.
Delaney got in the car after preschool on Wednesday and said, “I like making new friends. It’s fun.” And North Creek is that simple…come, make new friends, it’s fun. Community in every cup!