Reflecting on Church #30: The Bait and Switch
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 #30.
We also attended Sunday school at this church, the only time we did so on our sojourn. The problem was that we didn’t intend to. Their website said church was at 10 a.m., and their pastor confirmed this fact via email.
When we arrived a man said, “Sit anywhere” as he gestured to an almost empty sanctuary. For the next hour, we endured a most pathetic ordeal: welcome, announcements, prayer requests, greeting time, offering, hymn sing, sermon, and closing prayer—just like at any church struggling to slog through a sixty-minute church service. Then the speaker said, “Thank you for attending; church will start in ten minutes.” Only then did I realize we’d just suffered through Sunday school.
In sales, they call this “bait and switch.” I was seething. Exhausted after enduring their Sunday school, I was in no condition to have a good attitude for church. Though their actual church service had many positive elements, being tricked into attending Sunday school looms as my primary memory. I will never go back.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.