New Yorkers Surprise Me

It has now been almost a year since Lynn and I arrived here on Long Island. To some degree it has been everything we expected: expensive, crazy traffic, crowded, and mean winter weather. But there are other things we have noticed that we did not expect. Things like little to no interest in college football, beautiful ocean beaches, very knowledgeable and helpful county officials, and a population that will attend church if you invite them. That last one really surprised us.

Every week our church sees a good number of visitors in our services. Since July 1 we have had 117 different households complete a visitors card and of course many who visit do not complete a card. We guess that for everyone who completes a visitor card, there are one or two who do not. What really surprises me is what visitors say.

Most visitors to say that they have never experienced a church like this. They say they have never seen a place where people sing so vibrantly and where they are greeted so warmly. They often mention that they were shocked to have a parking lot attendant help them with parking AND welcome them to church. Most say they will be back.

People who visit Living Faith usually have a positive respond to the preaching. It seems that most are from a church that rarely encourages use of the Bible, either corporately or privately. It is not uncommon for people to need lots of help in finding the passage in the seat Bible so that they can follow the sermon. In December an 85 year old lady approached me after the service to say that it was her first time here and that although she attended a church every week, the sermon that day taught her more than she had learned in her church in years. That kind of stunned me. I look forward to hearing many comments like that from New Yorkers.

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