Saturday, May 15, 2010

#78 Church Shopping

Whenever a white Christian family moves to a new area or becomes fed up with the hymn/praise song ratio of their current church, they begin the ritual of church shopping.

Like conventional shopping, church shopping is about encountering new and exciting things that you believe will solve all your problems. Unlike regular shopping, church shopping progresses at the speed of one hour per week, requires the survival of hundreds of digit-crushing handshakes, and typically takes months or even years to complete.

Church shoppers get all the benefits of church attendance - three point sermons, fellowship, and post service refreshments, all without ever being asked to do nursery duty, visit old people, or even tithe - since white Christian churches ask only that they fill out the visitor form and place it in the offering plate.

Not all church shoppers are leaving a home church for greener pastures. Many are "seekers" - unchurched folks looking for their very first church. Seekers are among of the most coveted type of visitors, second only to minority visitors. Naturally, to attract these seekers, white Christian churches will abandon everything current members liked about the church in order to become "seeker friendly," thus creating a whole new group of church shoppers.

2 comments:

anna said...

I've noticed that the "floaters" - the perpetual church shoppers who never officially join a church, tend to settle down awfully quick once they have a baby or find out that they are pregnant. Only members can have their baby baptized in most churches. The desire for a baptism (or baby dedication for the non-Reformed circles) takes precedent and expedites the membership process.

Paul Wilkinson said...

I'm not a fan of the animated series King of the Hill on Fox, but they nailed the whole church shopping theme with this one.

I don't have the actual link, but have this bloggers embed of it bookmarked:

http://churchplantingjourney.blogspot.com/2008/11/what-do-outsiders-think-of-church.html