When my wife and I started our journey of visiting fifty-two churches in a year, one variable seemed trivial at first but had wide ramifications. That item was service times. With church starting times as early as 8 a.m. and as late as 11:30 a.m., our Sundays looked quite different each week.
As bedtime loomed each Saturday night, the common question became, “What time is Church tomorrow?” The answer determined when we got up in the morning, how much free time we had before church, when we could expect to eat lunch, and what we had time to do in the afternoon.
Factor in services lasting between one hour and two and half hours, with up to two hours of informal community afterwards, we had no idea when we might return home. Including drive time, our Sunday morning church experience would take between seventy minutes and three and a half hours.
For a person who likes the rhythm of a regular schedule, my Sunday routine was thrown into disarray. While assaulting my status quo wasn’t all bad, sometimes my time with God was the casualty of this ever-changing timetable. Isn’t that ironic?
[Read about our journey of visiting 52 churches.]