Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #30: The Bait and Switch

Avoid Creative Marketing for Your Church

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 #30.

We also attended Sunday school at this church, the only time we did so on our sojourn. The problem was that we didn’t intend to. Their website said church was at 10 a.m., and their pastor confirmed this fact via email.

The did a bait and switch on us.

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

When we arrived a man said, “Sit anywhere” as he gestured to an almost empty sanctuary.

For the next hour, we endured a most pathetic ordeal: welcome, announcements, prayer requests, greeting time, offering, hymn sing, sermon, and closing prayer—just like at any church struggling to slog through a sixty-minute church service.

Then the speaker said, “Thank you for attending; church will start in ten minutes.” Only then did I realize we’d just suffered through Sunday school. In sales, they call this “bait and switch.” I was seething.

Exhausted after enduring their Sunday school, I was in no condition to have a good attitude for church.

Though their actual church service had many positive elements, being tricked into attending Sunday school looms as my primary memory. I will never go back.

[See my reflections about Church #29 and Church #31 or start with Church #1.]

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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