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 #46.

Although the minister won me over with his teaching, the first half of the service remains my primary memory of my time there. Everything they did was tired, mired in decades old practices. It might have been contemporary, even progressive, in 1980, but now it smacks of days gone by. The world has changed but they forgot to keep pace. Worship trends come and go, but they latched onto one and persist in it even though it’s no longer trending. Perhaps this is why I saw very few young people or children there.

It wasn’t that they started poorly or lacked focus. It was simply a matter of me not connecting with them, and more importantly, they didn’t help me connect with God. They also failed to offer me community. I left feeling empty and lonely.

Good preaching alone isn’t enough to carry the day.

[See my reflections about Church #45 and Church #47 or start at the beginning of our journey.]

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