Reflecting on Church #16: If Only They Were a Friendly Church

Reflecting on Church #16: If Only They Were a Friendly Church

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 #16.

52 Churches, A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, by Peter DeHaan, PhD

There were so many things this church did right, so many things I liked about it. Yet one problem overshadowed all of that. They were not a friendly church.

Aside from interacting with another couple (who were also visitors), one greeter, and the two pastors, no one else of the hundreds of people present talked to us. There was no interaction before the service, nothing during the service, and none after the service ended. I couldn’t even make eye contact with anyone to show I was open for conversation.

Afterward I scanned the auditorium for someone who looked approachable, but I couldn’t find anybody. They just looked past me or perhaps through me as if I wasn’t there.

Most people just left, as if they’d watched a movie and it was time to go home. For those who did tarry, they focused on their friends, ignoring all others.

For all its positive elements, this church was unfriendly. I left feeling isolated and alone. They were not a friendly church. There is no call to return.

[See my reflections about Church #15 and Church #17 or start with Church #1.]

Get your copy of 52 Churches and The 52 Churches Workbook today, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

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.

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