Visiting Churches

Discussing Church #61: Visiting Church by Myself 

Many Sundays we’ve driven by this church, noting a three-quarters-full lot for their first service and a packed one for their second. While church size doesn’t impress me and growth may be misleading, both can signal spiritual vitality.

I’m intrigued. Today, I’ll be visiting church by myself.

Consider these seven discussion questions about Church #61.

1. Candy is gone, so I’m on my own. I’m okay visiting a church by myself, but staying home is so tempting.

How can we form a habit of regular church attendance? How can we stick with it?

2. The parking lot has plenty of space. I’m underwhelmed.

What message does our parking lot send? How can we make parking be a positive and inviting introduction to our facility?

3. Being alone, I feel more exposed than usual. I pause, hoping someone will greet me. No one does. And no one’s available for me to approach. Visiting a church solo takes extra courage.

How can we welcome a person squirming in silence?

4. Several minutes after it’s time to start, the worship team begins playing. Their opening strains call people into the sanctuary. These late arrivals distract me from worship.

How can we make sure we don’t impede others from experiencing God?

5. Next is the greeting. Epic fail. I’m weary of these trivial attempts at connection: people faking friendly when ordered and then withdrawing.

How can we be open and friendly all the time and not just when instructed?

6. The senior pastor is gone, with a second-year seminarian filling in. The guy is green. He should practice in seminary, not on a congregation.

When a message falls short—which will inevitably happen—how should we respond?

7. I leave frustrated. I enjoyed the music, but the message caused consternation, and the lack of connection left me empty. Was it my fault or theirs?

How can we help others leave church feeling better than when they arrived?

[Read about Church #61, Church #62, or start at the beginning of our journey.]

If you feel it’s time to move from the sidelines and get into the game, The More Than 52 Churches Workbook provides the plan to get you there.

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.