Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #47: Their Worship Style is Not My Style

There are Different Ways to Worship God

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 #47.

The people at this church are considerate of visitors. Their embrace of us, in a casual, open way, encourages me. This, however, belies their worship style. It is a structured, reserved service.

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

They are informal with people and formal with God. They are open to others before and after the service but stoic towards the Almighty during their church meeting.

Their personal style and worship style stand in contrast. It’s as if they flick off their friendly switch for the service when it’s time to connect with God.

To me, it’s inconsistent to act one way with people before and after a church service and treat God differently during it. This troubles me. It feels hypocritical, but I wonder if this is my issue.

Having an open embrace of people and of God feels right to me. I want to treat God as I do my friends. It seems honest and is how I best show respect towards God.

However, other people may demonstrate respect for God by embracing him with reverence and in awe. If this is honest for them, then they should do it; my method would be the wrong one.

We can approach God casually, as a friend, and we can approach him reverently, as an all-powerful deity. He deserves both.

It’s a matter of worship style.

[See my reflections about Church #46 and Church #48 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.

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