“There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.” ― Malcolm Gladwell, Blink
I strongly believe in the weightiness of the “blink test” when it comes to churches. I know we need to pray and think and not commit lightly to a local community. But, most of the time we walk into a gathering of people and we pick up things at a very deep, gut, intuitive level:
Is this a safe place? Is this a joyful place? Is there life here?
Is this a dangerous place? A cynical place? Will the life get sucked out of me here?
We don’t know everything that will happen in a particular place. We don’t know who might wound us, or who might turn out to be a life-long friend. That’s all part of the adventure of community. But, again, I think we know some things just by walking in the door.
This weekend I got to go to a church and I knew, without really “knowing”, there’s a lot of joy here, a lot of life. And, nothing that happened the rest of the day did anything but encourage that knowing.
Let me say it again: be prayerful and thoughtful about church and choosing community.
I do wonder, though, if our cultural propensity towards making rational decisions has desensitized our ability to be in tune with our guts, with that still, small voice that might actually be speaking more powerfully than pros and cons lists.
So pray and trust your gut.