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 #36.
We arrived at church only to learn they cancelled the service because their pastor had an emergency. Despite this, we hung around and talked for a long time, having brief conversations with most of the people who had gathered for Sunday School (which wasn’t cancelled) and a deep spiritual discussion with a long ago friend.
From my perspective, I experienced church even though there was no official service. It was one of my more noteworthy encounters at the churches we visited.
The time was memorable for my wife, too, although it hit her a bit differently. “If they’re so full of the Holy Spirit,” she said, “you’d think he would have prompted someone to lead their service.”
The idea that a church needs to have a pastor present to hold a service is ridiculous. As followers of Jesus, he expects every one of us to minister to one another. This is what we should always do, whether a minister is there or not.