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 #23.
It’s challenging to get members to attend a church business meeting during the week, as it requires an extra trip to church that’s squeezed into an already busy schedule. So it’s understandable when churches hold business meetings at the end of their service.
However, conducting church business as part of a Sunday service often provides an uncomfortable experience for visitors. This church business meeting is no exception. One member questions the makeup of the pastoral selection committee. Other members, either aroused or emboldened by this first comment, join in to voice their dissent. As emotions rise, so does the tension in the sanctuary. Just as civility threatens to escalate out of control, a conciliatory remark ends the discussion. Then they approve the committee slate with only minor murmuring.
The leader dismisses us, and my final memory of the church service is the rancor of their business meeting, not their worship of God. In the spirit of expediency, they forgot the purpose of church.