CHANGING ROOM ETIQUETTE..
I grew up in the same church all my life. I had to do a lot of changing in-front of a lot of people. Church can feel like a communal changing room at times. It’s awkward and uncomfortable as you feel so exposed, people seeing you at your most vulnerable as you work through challenges and change in areas. Therefore we need to apply some changing room rules so more people can stay and make the changes they need to, instead of being afraid to change or running away in times of change. How about a few rules in that communal changing room;
1. No cameras allowed. You can’t freeze people in time as they are part way through their changes. As a pastor’s kid in my church and now pastoring that church I am so thankful for the ones who allowed me to grow, mess up, change but never froze me in time. They didn’t take a photograph of me in times of exposure which meant I could go on and lead in the future.
2. Changing rooms are for changing. So if you aren’t in a season of change right now and your not a changing room assistant, give people space. You can’t just go and sit in the changing room if you aren’t going to change into anything. The activity of changing qualifies you being in that space. That means for all those in there, the good news is you’re not the only one making changes right now, so don’t feel bad.
3. No moving into the changing room. It’s a temporary place not a permanent address, so don’t move your whole life into that awkward space. Focus on what needs to be taken off and what you need to start putting on and then move on. You may visit it often, but you don’t have to live in it.
4. Finally no taking the things that don’t fit or the things that you have discarded home with you. Leave behind what doesn’t belong in the future. No more than you would take home the gyms dirty towel don’t exit the changing room with what should have been tossed in the basket. So there you go just a few things I think we would all benefit from when we are in that communal changing zone. It’s not easy but maybe we could make it a little easier. Every church needs room for people to change and we can all learn some changing room etiquette.