As I Was Saying is a forum for a variety of perspectives to foster faith-related conversations among our readers with the goal of mutual learning, even in disagreement. Apart from articles written by editorial staff, these perspectives do not necessarily reflect the views of The Banner.

Author Skye Jethani was traveling with his 9-year-old daughter, Zoe, and visited two churches. During the services he noticed that she was writing in her journal. Later he asked if he could see what she’d written about the churches.

Here are Zoe’s observations from two churches in their raw, unedited form:

CHURCH A

1. When you are singing the first song the pastors walk down the isle and the first is holding a gold cross that is placed on a wooden stick thingy.
2. One of the pastors walking down the isle and close to the end is holding a very pretty looking bible. When she gets to the stage she places it on a wooden table.
3. The pastors are dressed in decrotive robes.
4. The church does not have a screen that has the words of the songs and passeges and prayers. instead they have a little books that has all the songs and prayer in them.
5. The pastors sit on little wooden chairs and listen to who is talking.
6. They have time to confess their sins and the pastors sit on their knees.
7. One of the pastors prepares the table for cumuan.
8. During cumun someone in a plain white robe holds the bible.
9. They say this during cumuan “Christ has died and Christ has risen Christ will come again”
10. The pastors bow after they finish talking during cumuan.
11. When you are taking cumuan there is one cup that the adults drink from and after the person that is holding the cup wipes it.
12. When church is almost over one of the people in the plain white robes holds the gold cross and when it goes down the isle you have to bow.

CHURCH B

1. They have 3 screens
2. In the back there is a little station that does the lights and screens
3. There are 2 girls singing. And when you sing the lights turn off and these cool lights go on. The music is really loud.
4. In the seat in front of you their is a poket and in that poket their is a welcom thingy and an evolope wich you can give money with
5. There is no cross in the front
6. Their are cool but weird things on the walls
7. Very cool set up
8. There is a coffee shop

Here’s the question. Which church do you think had a greater spiritual  impact on Zoe, and why?

(Zoe’s journal remarks are from Jethani’s  blog: skyejethani.com)

About the Author

Len Vander Zee is a retired CRC pastor now serving as interim minister of preaching at Church of the Servant CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.