Denominational Reviews

Usher: Deak, what if people did reviews on the Internet after they “shopped” churches? 

Deacon: I don’t know – what would that do?

Usher: Well, first of all, you could find out what they were really like as the names don’t mean a thing to people today.

Deacon:  Sort of like churches would be actually described in the reviews by their true behavior – what would they really be called?

Usher: That’s really interesting.  I wrote a couple below that relate to churches I’ve been to or belonged to:

The church with the free bagels and coffee (during service in case the sermon sucks)

The Church of Bad Coffee (the urns must be from the 60’s)

The Church with the Wal Mart greeters – better yet how about Wal Mart West? (I belonged to a church where the town actually nicknamed the church Wal Mart because of all the stuff they had to do to get permitting to build it)

The Church of the insecure pastor – the sermons have 6 clarifying stories or scenarios for each point made

The Up & Down Church (from standing up and down so many times)

The Church of the old pews (where you’re afraid to sit down for fear they’ll break)

The Assisted Living Church (No one under 50 ever seemed to come)

The Church of the blue hairs (this one was about 30 people and they were living on an annuity – no reason to evangelize in today’s society because they had nothing to offer to families and there were no kids in the church)

The Church of the intinerant parking attendants (I swear they never step inside – this particular church was in the northeast and had two huge parking lots and about 20 attendants every Sunday)

The Church that wouldn’t change it’s sign out front (ever see a sign that has those replaceable letters but they’re too lazy to change it from week to week?)

The Church of my grandfather (and still is)

The Church of the pretty windows and empty seats (this is a problem worldwide where people are trying to preserve the buildings – to heck with the furthering of the gospel)

The Church with the smelly hymnals (because the one’s in the pews where we sat hadn’t been opened in years)

The Church of the Windy Pastor (sermons went on and on – everyone has been to or belonged to one of these if they’ve been a christian for any amount of time)

MCMass (church with masses every hour and drive-up confession)

The Weaker Seeker Church – you know the type – 40 minute services with 20 minutes of rock and roll worship

The Church of the Suburb Soccer Moms – where fellowship is about kid’s sports, decorating the homestead and braggin’ about the new SUV they just got!

The Church of the Pastor’s Friends – the church that has the perfect pastor and the perfect deacons (that no one knows except from the pastor’s sermons or their lengthy prayers) and no one knows where the pastor goes or what he does outside Sunday services.  Interestingly enough, they’re great at referrals and aloof when it comes to anyone outside their immediate circle.

Usher: Maybe some of our friends can share about the real impressions of the churches they’ve been to or belonged to…..

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9 Responses to “Denominational Reviews”

  1. Sephie Says:

    Great post! I love it!

    Have you checked these out?

    A Month of Sundays
    The Stranger Sends 31 Writers to 31 Houses of Worship
    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=242675

    The Mystery Worshipper
    http://www.ship-of-fools.com/mystery/index.html

  2. Alan Paul Says:

    Nw that we know what a “bad” church looks like, how about a post on what you think a “good” church looks like?

  3. Deacon Says:

    Usher: Deak, I sense Alan is poised to throw in the all familiar defensive argument of “There is no perfect church, so the problem must be you!”

    Deacon: Yep, pretty much that’s what I read.

    Usher: If the world would only question the institution they would find it wanting. It’s no different than the Columbus questioning the flatness of the earth. It consumed his whole life. Just like the earth being flat was the accepted state at the time, we have come to accept the institution as the church!

    Deacon: Maybe the best answer is that a “good” church has no bylaws, no titles, no programs, no traditions, no budgets to pay people to lead others in “their” direction. No performance, no rhetoric, no “divine interpretations” and absolutely no hierarchy. Just a group of lovers of Christ pursuing Christ. Think of it as courting, exploring and seeking to discover the intimacy of Christ, nothing more, nothing less.

  4. Alan Paul Says:

    No not that argument at all – I’m not THAT predictable – I really want to know what kind of church you see working – not your pie-in-the-sky-sure-to-be-chaotic version Deak – there needs to be leadership of some kind… I figure if you can beat the church up one side and down he other (and I am all for it by the way – you have read some of my stuff – you know how I feel about the church) then you should also be willing to tell me a realistic model that would work for church.

  5. Deacon Says:

    Deacon: If we only knew. I’m being convinced more and more every day that it cannot be institutional. I don’t think the first church was. It was definitive and known, but not hierarchical. It functioned without a Roman government, a Greek philosophy or a European “feel” (to steal from a quote out of Reimaging Church) and it definitely cannot be a business as we have made it in the west. I think it already exists, just outside the reach of most. Outside the big stone and wood structures. Think of the church in Russia that was illegal. Think of Albanians who were killed for gathering. That type of church had to be a threat to the government and to the enemy. We as westerners cannot gather without somebody controlling. What if we could? What if we could all “just hang out with Christ” together? No flippin’ stupid performances, no showtime, no bloody boring sermons that mean absolutely nothing, no stealing of people’s money to buy homes and cars and oh yes, no more blue haired greeters to smile and show their dentures! Could we actually live without materialism? That’s what I see. I know many who operate in this fashion overseas, just not many here. So many call themselves “church planters”, but they’re just young kids trying to build their own “church”. We have this terrible problem in the west – we need to build structures and things! We cannot build the kingdom of believers because that cannot be measured and no credit can be claimed. Kind of like how we go to foreign countries and “build things” for the poor and impoverished ones. We come back and brag and what in God’s name does that do for them? I personally know of too many who say “enough”! Stop with your materialism and bring your love and engage for longer than a shortened week of your life. These kids in the orphanages and hospitals are humans! They’re not objects to be pitied for a moment and then forgotten! Maybe we could join with them and call it a “church”?

    Rant over!

  6. Mark R Says:

    GO YOU GOOD THING …. AMEN!!!!

    The Weaker Seeker Church – yah, got me there!!!! I Pastored one for near on 4 years.

  7. Random Acts of Linkage #86 : Subversive Influence Says:

    […] Characteristically-defined Church Names […]

  8. Getting There Says:

    The ‘Fake love-fellowship church’ they make sure they greet you and make you feel at home as long as you are going the same direction as them and then one day you have a question on their teaching and boom… the love suddenly dies down and the church becomes the ‘Im better than you church”

  9. Getting There Says:

    church Is 24/7… outside the building… with people, purely just loving people everyday and being a witness to them is real… getting together without the help of an organisation… real fellowship starts when you step outside the church bubble building and live your life seasoned with salt!

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