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.

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

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

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.]

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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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