Visiting Churches

The Mystery Church

A Marketing Failure

The last four churches have been the closest to our house and all are part of our local community. There is one more church that’s nearby. It’s two miles away. But we call it a mystery church.

In the brief time we’ve been in the area, the name of the church has changed. Its original occupants first migrated to a coffee house that’s closed on Sundays. Then they left that venue and disappeared.

Shopping for Church: Searching for Christian Community, a Memoir

Replacing them in their old building is another church from an adjoining community. They sold their facility and are renting this one—so say online news reports.

Because they’ve recently moved from another area, I expect the congregation likewise hails from other places and don’t expect that any neighbors attend there.

No one we’ve talked to knows anything about this mystery church.

All we know is their name and location. There are no service times posted on their sign, and they have no website.

A basic Facebook page has a couple of pictures and posts, but nothing gives service times or contact information. The most recent post invites people to their Christmas Eve service, which occurred several months ago.

It could be they’ve closed. Or they’re closed to visitors since they’re secretive of their service times and contact information. Who knows?

So aside from a desire to experience all the churches in our community, I don’t want to visit this one—even if I could. I share my feelings with Candy. She agrees to skip it.


Make it easy for people to learn about your church. This includes service times and who to contact with questions. Don’t be a mystery church.

[Read about the next church, or start at the beginning of Shopping for Church.]

Read the full story in Peter DeHaan’s new book Shopping for Church.

Travel along with Peter and his wife as they search for a new Christian community in his latest book, Shopping for Church, part of the Visiting Churches Series.

This book picks up the mantle from 52 Churches, their year-long sabbatical of visiting churches.

Here’s what happens:

My wife and I move. Now we need to find a new church. It’s not as easy as it sounds. She wants two things; I seek three others.

But this time the stakes are higher. I’ll write about the churches we visit, and my wife will pick which one we’ll call home. It sounds simple. What could possibly go wrong?