Two international students from China visited Upper Room this past Sunday. Both are new to the US and had never visited a church before. They had heard the name Jesus but didn’t know anything about who he is. Basically, their only exposure to Christianity before Sunday had been what they’d seen in western movies.
In fact, when our friend Peter asked them where they wanted to sit, they surveyed the eclectic assortment of chairs in our space and pointed to the old pew in the back. “Let’s sit there. That’s what the seats are like in the movies.”
We had heard in advance that they would be visiting us, so as a gesture of hospitality, Mike pasted Chinese translations of the scripture passages for the day into the slideshow. They were happily surprised to see it on the screen, and participated in the service attentively.
Obviously, we wanted their visit to provide a good first impression of the Church, and not just our church, but the whole worldwide Church. So was it a good impression?
As they were getting in a friend’s car to leave after the service, one was overheard saying to the other, “I think church is less about the building and more about the people who believe in Jesus.”
Yes, I would definitely say that’s a good first impression.