What Do You Do When the Church Doors Are Locked?
My wife and I recently headed off for a church that met in an office complex, using space rented by a ministry organization. Through a series of errors on our part and a bit of misinformation on theirs, we got lost and arrived six minutes late. We tried the first door we saw, and it was locked. Another entrance with the same name on it was locked, too. Then we spotted a third door, and it was likewise shut tight.
We walked around the complex, looking for hints of where to go or how to get in. Some walks were shoveled, and we noticed random footprints in the snow, but none of these hints revealed a common entrance or even a way into the building. Then we got back in our car and drove around the facility, looking for a sign or another entrance. When this produced no new clues, we returned to the parking lot.
There were other cars there so we knew they were meeting. My wife pressed her ear against one set of double doors and could hear music emanating from deep inside. She rattled the doors and even pounded but garnered no response. She waited and repeated her efforts, this time with more fervor and increased ire.
She returned to the car, frustrated over the situation. Now twenty-two minutes after the start of their service, my impulse was flight, while hers was to fight. We drove home in silence, wondering how something so simple could go so wrong.
She later vented to the pastor in a private Facebook message. He apologized but offered no explanation for the locked doors. He gave a vague description of which door to use, but we tried the door we think he mentioned.
We will visit again sometime, arriving plenty early so we can get in. This church claims to have a different approach to doing church, and I want to learn more. I’m just not sure if I can work past my frustration of being locked out while the faithful gathered inside.
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.