Reflecting on Church #5: Intrigued but Frustrated

Reflecting on Church #5: Intrigued but Frustrated

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 #5.

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

A church growth buzzword is seeker sensitive, that churches need to conduct services that are friendly to visitors. Our experience at Mass was the opposite: inaccessible and exclusive. It was not seeker sensitive.

Not being able to follow the service kept us on the outside. Though their observance intrigued me, with mystery and awe, I left feeling empty and alone.

I was also dismayed that some people treated the reverence of the occasion with casual indifference, as though merely putting in their time, measuring the minutes until they could leave. The two people in front of us talked during worship and their snickered whispers distracted me throughout the service. I wondered why they bothered to show up. Perhaps they were there to check “attend Mass” off their to-do list.

Last, though I recognized several people present, with only one exception their get-in-and-get-out attitude kept them from noticing me or even allowing me the opportunity to approach them. We did get to meet the priest and one friend talked to us, but overall no meaningful community took place.

[See my reflections about Church #4 and Church #6 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 to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus 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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