Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #52: Misrepresented Services

Don’t Misrepresent Your Church Service

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 #52.

This church offers two services. They call the first one blended, combining traditional and contemporary elements, whereas the second one is promoted as contemporary.

Both are mislabeled. The church has two misrepresented services.

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

Church #4 successfully combined traditional and contemporary elements into their service.

Though this church makes the same claim for their first service, it comes off more as a traditional service with a contemporary element awkwardly tacked on the end. For me it was too little, too late.

I also found their second service mislabeled. It was less contemporary and more so “safe.” A friend who attends this church flinched at my description of safe. She also knew I was right.

I suspect what we saw was not so much an effort to provide a contemporary service, but an effort to connect with unchurched visitors while not offending members clinging to the past.

To be correct, they need to either relabel their two services—calling the first one traditional and the second one blended, would be more accurate—or they need to do a major overhaul of each.

Change is in order, with the first option likely appeasing members, whereas the second option would be more effective at connecting with the unchurched.

[See my reflections about Church #51 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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