Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #42: A Disappointing Day

Have High Expectations

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 #42.

I carried high expectations for this church, but I experienced a disappointing day when we visited. What they delivered fell far short of what I anticipated I would encounter.

52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common Faith

My unwarranted anticipation built them into something they were not, something few churches could ever achieve—or maintain. In truth, no church could be that good.

From such a lofty perch that I placed them on, it was much further to fall.

The service was tightly orchestrated, but felt disjointed, the songs were dated and tired, the people were self-absorbed, and the sermon was critical and divisive.

This church exemplified many of the traits the unchurched levy against it. Now I understand why.

However, even if I had no expectations for my experience with them, I’m sure I’d still have been disappointed. Perhaps I should have arrived, expecting the worst. Would that have allowed me to better see the good?

What I can say is this is a larger church with a passionate following. Certainly, they are connecting with some people, just not me.

[See my reflections about Church #41 and Church #43 or start at the beginning of our journey.]

My wife and I visited a different Christian Church every Sunday for a year. This is our story. Get your copy of 52 Churches today, available in ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity 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.

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