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 #48.
This church did many things right, especially the warm way they welcomed my wife and I into their community. Several of their practices were personally inviting and spiritually significant. Their meeting felt more relevant than what most churches do at their services.
However, there’s one thing I can’t get past: everything seemed old. I feel guilty for saying this. Their service had a formal vibe. Although their style had a novel pull, I realized that with repeated visits it would quickly grate on me for its ceremonial constructs and reserved rigidity. And the congregation was mostly older, with very few young people. Even though many in this church have a youthful spirit – just as I claim to have – I can’t get past their age. Older congregations have a bleak future; there is no next generation to rise up and continue the journey.
Despite its many positive elements, my concerns overshadow them and keep me from wanting to return. Though it was a great church to visit, once was enough.