Dear Dr. Graham:

I’d like to start going to church, but I’ve never been before (except for weddings and funerals), and I’m afraid I’ll do something wrong and make a fool of myself. Can you understand this?

— K.W.W.

Dear Reader: Your concern is certainly understandable; no one likes to be embarrassed, regardless of the reason. But I sincerely hope this won’t keep you from discovering the encouragement and friendships you can find in a church which has Christ at its center.

What steps can you take to overcome your worries? First, if you have a friend who is active in a church, tell them frankly of your fears, and ask them to help you overcome them — perhaps by taking you to a service. Other friends may know of churches in your area that have a reputation for welcoming guests. Remember: there is no substitute for taking that first step — and once you do, you’ll be surprised how easy it will be to return.

While I encourage you to become involved in a church, I strongly urge you to take an even more important step — and that is to turn to Jesus Christ and by faith commit your life to him. Our greatest need is to have our sins forgiven — and that is why Jesus Christ came into the world. By his death on the cross he became the final sacrifice for our sins, and by his resurrection he opened Heaven’s door for us.

By a simple prayer of faith ask Christ to come into your life today — and he will. Then ask him to guide you to a church where you’ll be able to grow in your faith. God’s promise is for you: “To those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).