Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Consumer Reports

This guy visits a different South Florida church every Sunday and reviews the services on his blog.

Some thoughts:

1) The most important message element for him is "the Gospel" and he is rather blunt about not finding it presented in the majority of the churches he visits.

2) I'm not clear on whether "the Gospel" to him is an articulation or incorporation of sin/grace or an actual altar call or Romans Road-type thing. If it's the former, I think his sharing of the findings is indeed distressing (but not surprising). If the latter . . . well . . .

3) The more reviews I read, the less comfortable I was. I think there can be something valuable in getting an outsider perspective like this, a sense of seeing what a visitor sees, particularly when their sights are set on worthy things like theological content, biblical fidelity, the level of theo-centrism in worship, etc. But when the critiques start to hammer on who is or isn't greeting them, the quality of those greetings, the quality of the music, how long or short it was, what the lights were like, what was in the visitor goodie bag, etc., a "helpful service" starts sounding more and more like a consumer report. Which leads me to . . .

4) At some point, a concerted focus on what is wrong with particular churches can actually feed the Christian consumerist mindset.


preacherman said...

Great post brother.
May God continue to bless your ministry in a powerful way. I would love to invite you to join any discussion on my blog any time. God bless you and hope you a have a blessed week in the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Him,
Kinney Mabry

Porthos said...

The writer defines what he means here:


Not sure if that's what you're looking for.


Jared said...

Doug/Porthos, thanks for the linky clarification. Very helpful.

revolution said...

I would consider myself an anti-consumer, so I find it interesting that you see the consumer view prevailing in the church field trip reports.

I would guess that it is those churches which "sell" the consumer-driven mindset that draw me to make such observations about their services.

Whereas, those churches which promote more of an organic, participatory experience would recieve a less "consumeristic" report.

When I show up, I show up to worship God and commune with other followers. The question becomes whether or not a church will encourage that worship/fellowship or stand in its way.

Either way, your observation is a valid and worthy one.