I attended a Saint Josephs Catholic church with my wife on Sunday, January 15, 2012. I am not Catholic, but my wife is so I am open to the idea of attending the church for her sake. I had a hard time grasping the central idea of what they were talking about, as we were seated in the middle there were a lot of distractions, from crying babies, to disrespectful kids goofing off, and people coughing/making noises. There were five other people who performed readings from Bible verses. I believe their main topic was something about eternal life, there were just to many distractions for me to clearly understand the main objective.
The thing I did like, was in his introduction he caught everyone’s attention and interacting with the audience by having all the children come up to the front. He related to children by telling a story from the Bible which involved a child “Samuel“, he then asked them if they had experienced anything similar to what Samuel experienced. Then he lost me by abruptly changing the topic from the story to talking about the people who work for the church, in particularly one women who was retiring this month.
Along with the poor transitions from topic to topic, I thought they also had poor transitions when a different speaker would speak, and when they would switch from one event to the other. Like the Pastor would be telling a story, and the next thing you know somebody walks up and reads a verse from the Bible, then out of nowhere the band would start-up and the chores start to sing. They would stop singing and then the Pastor starts singing to the bread and wine, everyone gets up to take their communion, we then watched another guy clean the cups when they were done. A few announcements and prayers were said along with some more songs, and abruptly the pastor said to go in peace because the sermon was over, he then continued to sing as we watched him exit the building.
For me not being Catholic, I didn’t really know what to expect or what was going on the whole time, I suppose it is OK for people who grew up with it and go there every week. But for an audience who doesn’t know about how things operate I assume they would have been just as confused as I was. The Pastor didn’t even introduce himself, so I never learned his name, a pastor holds a leadership position, I think it is kind of hard to follow someone if you don’t even know his name. I’m sure that the weekly regulars know it, but for new people it would be nice for him to at least say his name at the beginning.
One other thing I saw that he did well in was his use of pitch, and gestures, I think they went well with what he was saying. He also provided excellent eye contact.
Needless to say I will never go back to that church, or convert to a Catholic, because to me it was a waste of time as I did not learn anything. For me if I go to church I actually want to learn something. I think the Catholic church is to complicated with all its different rituals. I prefer church to be more simple, with a clear message, a few songs to brighten the mood, and some prayer.
This is not to offend any Catholics, it is just my honest opinion, and overall I don’t believe I received an effective message today.