This church didn’t come up in our online search or in the local directory of churches. We stumbled upon them while driving to another church. Their existence is a well-kept secret.
Consider these four discussion questions about Church #35, which I’ll call a well-kept secret:
1. Once we know their name, we find their Facebook page, confirming their location but nothing else. Their denomination’s website gives service times but no contact information. We head off to church without confirming the service time or if they’re even meeting.
How easy is it for people to learn about your church?
2. We arrive seven minutes early, but everyone’s seated and singing. My impulse is to retreat. Instead we slink in and sit in the back row. The song ends and absolutely nothing happens for several minutes. We squirm in awkward silence. I so want to leave.
What do you do when your church service makes people want to leave?
3. The Communion liturgy addresses the bread and wine, but they only share the bread and skip the cup. I feel cheated.
Which of your practices confuse visitors? How can you address this?
4. Only after the service does anyone talk to us. Up to this point, they’d been stoic. Now they’re friendly.
Do people think your church is friendly? How can you be more engaging?
They ignored us when we arrived and during the service, but they were most friendly afterward. At least they finished strong.
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.