The Sermon Starts In The Parking Lot

Think back to the last time you went to a meeting someplace new. It could be visiting a church, a business meeting, a meeting for a new ministry, or even a social event in a new place. For me, it was attending the IFI banquet that happened a couple of months ago. IFI had done an excellent job of sending email directions on where to park, where to go, and what to expect. However, I still felt a lot of anxiety. I wasn’t exactly sure if I was parking in the right place. There were so many doors to enter the building and it was raining so I wasn’t sure where to go in and felt the need to decide quickly (because we were getting wet). I didn’t pick the “right” door so once I went in, I was confused (I was in the middle of a coffee shop). I did finally find a helpful IFI person and sign (but it was about 5-10 minutes into the journey). He directed me upstairs to an area full of IFI tables for registering that was overwhelming at first glance. Then it happened – I saw Phil! I was saved. All my anxiety melted away. I knew Phil and Phil knew me. He walked me through the process of next steps. I was feeling better. Then the next challenge hit – where’s the little boys’ room?

Going new places is hard. Going into an environment where everyone knows each other, and you are the newcomer is even harder, especially if you are alone. Kind of like this: