The River has a fantastic group of people that love each other and work hard to be there as a support. Fellowship on Sunday mornings is a phenomenal thing!
Sunday mornings after the service is also a great time to focus on praise and worship and getting closer to God. There is a true opportunity to seek healing, encourage, deep spiritual restoration and greater intimacy with our Lord and Savior.
While not everyone has the opportunity to remain for Press In after the service, we want to work hard at creating an atmosphere conducive to peace and worship for those who take advantage of that extra time.
Part of that atmosphere is moving conversations out of the sanctuary and downstairs so the buzz does not distract from the atmosphere of spiritual reverence.
This means, as committed attenders, we have to be situationally aware and help guide people who want to talk out of the sanctuary to help create the best environment possible for Press In. Instead of remaining in the sanctuary to talk, ask your conversation partners to move downstairs where you can continue and help polish off the snacks.
It's very easy to think, "It's only one conversation for a couple minutes, it won't make any distraction at all." Which, in general, is very true. But when conversation after conversation is compounded, it creates a distracting buzz.
The goal of this post is not to discourage fellowship, the River is completely pro fellowship and sharing and relationship building! We just want to intentionally create an atmosphere that blesses people who want to go a little deeper in their worship during Press In.
When the band starts to play their instruments, please take the opportunity to help move conversations out of the sanctuary. Nicely explain that you'd love to keep talking to that person(s), but at a place that will not interrupt the Press In crowd.
Sometimes, it's just very hard to concentrate on the spiritual when the physical is buzzing around. There are great places to talk in the youth center or on the patio, and fellowship is a crucial part of the River, so everyone should keeping talking to old friends and new guests on Sunday. However, I believe we can do both Press In and Fellowship with excellence by utilizing different areas of the building.
Thank you, for helping to facilitate Press In and effective Fellowship. You are the core of the River and an AMAZING group of people. I'm excited to keep working for excellence at your side.