Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #31: They Must Not Care About Visitors

Be the Church Where Visitors Come Back

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 #31.

This church pursued excellence in their service, with the effective use of technology and the professionalism of those who led us. Their example is one worthy of imitation.

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

Unfortunately, they failed in another area, a much more important one. They don’t seem to care about church visitors.

They were one of the most unfriendly churches we visited. Aside from a greeter, who talked to us when we arrived and when we left, no one else interacted with us at any time, in any way: not one conversation, no eye contact, not even a smile.

They gave us a nice performance, but ignored us as individuals, allowing us to remain all alone in a room full of people.

When visiting a church, I don’t expect members to fawn over me or celebrate my attendance, but I do expect some will acknowledge my presence.

It felt like being invited to a party and the host snubbing me. Maybe that was the problem. We weren’t invited. We just showed up.

While the service was so well done that I want to come back, the people were so distant that I can’t bear to return.

[See my reflections about Church #30 and Church #32 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 e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

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.