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 #12.

This United Methodist Church drew me. I wanted to make a return trip, attending for a full month. That would allow us to experience their variations of service styles. However, when I learned the pastor left, I lost all interest in going back. That’s when I realized I wasn’t drawn to the church but to its leader. Her style in conducting worship had a peaceful demeanor: full of wonder and respect.

Although it’s common in our hero-worship culture, choosing a church based on the minister’s style and personality is a bad idea. When the minister leaves, so will most of the people who attend because of him or her. The focus of our church attendance shouldn’t be on the minister, but on God.

[See my reflections about Church #11 and Church #13 or start with Church #1.]

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