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 #49.

Out of several hundred people, only one greeted us before the service. His name was John, and we later learned he was the senior pastor. For an extra-large church, it’s especially commendable for the senior pastor to personally greet people as they arrive. A better scenario is for members to welcome visitors and not expect paid staff to solely handle that responsibility. Surely in a church this size, some outgoing people could be recruited to handle this important task. Even better would be for the people to just do it without being asked.

Leaders should never expect their followers to do something they don’t or won’t do themselves. I commend John in setting the example for his congregation by being available and greeting visitors. What perplexes me is why we saw no one imitating his example. Are they unwilling to follow their leader?

There must be an underlying issue at this church, and it makes me uncomfortable. I fear something is seriously wrong with the overall mindset of this congregation.

[See my reflections about Church #48 and Church #50 or start with Church #1.]

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