Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #44: Welcoming Visitors as You Would Embrace Longtime Friends

Attending Church with Friends

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 #44.

We revisited this church, which we attended some fifteen years ago. Though many of the people we knew then had scattered to other churches or just dropped out, a good number remained.

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

I anticipated a time to reconnect with long-ago friends. Also, the congregation had grown, and there was a different minister. I wondered how much has changed.

Before and after the service, we didn’t put forth any effort to talk with anyone. We didn’t have to.

People came to us in droves. They came to embrace us as longtime friends. We enjoyed their celebration of our presence, even though they came close to overwhelming us.

Although some churches embraced us well as visitors, none came close to the welcome this church gave us as longtime friends. This gives me pause.

Do I give visitors the same attention and enthusiasm as I give to my friends? I don’t, but I should.

May we welcome visitors to our church as we would embrace longtime friends.

[See my reflections about Church #43 and Church #45 or start at the beginning of our journey.]

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.