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.
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. 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.
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.