With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #52.
This church offers two services. They call the first one blended, combining traditional and contemporary elements, whereas the second one is promoted as contemporary. Both are mislabeled.
Church #4 successfully combined traditional and contemporary elements into their service. Though this church makes the same claim for their first service, it comes off more as a traditional service with a contemporary element awkwardly tacked on the end. For me it was too little, too late.
I also found their second service mislabeled. It was less contemporary and more so “safe.” A friend who attends this church flinched at my description of safe. She also knew I was right. I suspect what we saw was not so much an effort to provide a contemporary service, but an effort to connect with unchurched visitors while not offending members clinging to the past.
To be correct, they need to either relabel their two services – calling the first one traditional and the second one blended, would be more accurate – or they need to do a major overhaul of each. Change is in order, with the first option likely appeasing members, whereas the second option would be more effective at connecting with the unchurched.