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Visiting Churches

Faith Promise Sunday: Church #63

When my wife started a new job, she learned one of her coworkers goes to a church near the one we normally attend. With a non-church sounding name, I’m intrigued. We decide to visit.

As we drive to this church, I’m so glad for a reprieve from ours and the pointless messages I endure for the sake of community. Even so, I’ll miss seeing the people there. Should the focus of church be on the message or on community?

Once inside the building we weave our way through people, all engaged in conversation with friends—and too busy to notice us. How do we respond when we see someone we don’t know? How should we react?

In the sanctuary, Candy spots her coworker and waves. His face beams. He beckons us. “I’m so glad you’re here.” He is truly overjoyed to see us. How happy are we when a friend shows up unexpectedly at church?

This man and his wife make us feel so welcomed. Though everyone in a church can greet visitors, some people have a real gift for hospitality. How can we best do our part to embrace people at church? 

We learn that this is “Faith Promise Sunday,” so they won’t have a sermon. The lack of a lecture overjoys me. Do we feel we need to hear a message for church to take place?

Instead of a message, they explain the six ministries they support. Then members from the missions committee pray for these organizations and people. When they announce the pledge total, the congregation celebrates. How does our church celebrate missions?

Hearing about the work of God’s people to share his love fed my soul. I’m encouraged by a church that treats missions seriously and not as a minor add-on to a normally cash-strapped budget. Do we make missions a priority?

This church didn’t have a sermon when we visited. Instead, they talked about the missions they supported on this Faith Promise Sunday.

[Read more about Church #63 or start at the beginning of our journey.]

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.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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