Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #36: Don’t Expect a Minister to Do What You’re Supposed to Do

We are All Priests Through Jesus

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 #36.

We arrived at church only to learn they cancelled the service because their pastor had an emergency.

Despite this, we hung around and talked for a long time, having brief conversations with most of the people who had gathered for Sunday School, which wasn’t cancelled.

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

During this time we had a deep spiritual discussion with a long ago friend. In doing so, we were able to minister to one another in a most satisfying way.

Though we didn’t experience a church service, we did experience deep spiritual community. From my perspective, I had a meaningful church encounter even though there was no official service.

It was one of my more noteworthy memories at the churches we visited.

The time was memorable for my wife, too, although it hit her a bit differently. “If they’re so full of the Holy Spirit,” she said, “you’d think he would have prompted someone to lead their service.”

Yes, indeed.

Though they held a successful Sunday School on their own without pastoral support, they didn’t even attempt to do so for church. I’m not sure if this was the minister’s decision or theirs, but they should have tried.

Even if no one felt capable of teaching a lesson, they could have still done the worship portion of the service and handled all the other elements too.

The idea that a church needs to have a pastor present to hold a service is ridiculous. As followers of Jesus, he expects every one of us to minister to one another. This is what we should always do, whether a minister is there or not.

[See my reflections about Church #35 and Church #37 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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