Search for a Church: 9 Months & Counting

Last September following a move across the country my wife and I began to search for a church.  That search is ongoing.  To date we have reviewed the websites of 40+ Mainline Protestant congregations in our area identified 26 congregations for visits visited 23 congregations and planned visits to the 3 remaining congregations selected 5 congregations that appear possible matches and committed to visiting each a second time this summer Several key categories help me process my Read More …

Friendly Churches

In small congregations it is easy for long timers to recognize newcomers.  In very large congregations, including megachurches, no one knows everyone.  While these contrasts may suggest that smaller size is correlated to more friendly congregations, research has shown that how first time guests perceive their experiences is based on far more than just size.  Faith Perceptions work finds that, overall, the most effective congregation sizes for positive first time guest experiences Read More …

Adjusting Expectations

In an article published by the Associated Baptist Press, Amy Butler, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington D.C., suggests that parishioners' expectations about church are often unrealistic.  She writes: I’m thinking specifically about the yawning divide between church members’ expectations and the reality of living in community. What is it really like to be the church, the gathered community of Christ? You know, the place where everybody loves each other, lives as witnesses to Read More …

Full LGBT Equality in the Church

Believe Out Loud is a project of Intersections International that is committed to being a" trans-denominational movement that promotes LGBT-inclusion in the Christian church."  Recently they launched a campaign to get one million Christians to sign on in support of "full LGBT equality in the church."  Sojourners, led by Jim Wallis, rejected their new 83 second ad  (watch below) depicting lesbian moms and their son entering a new church and receiving a welcome from the minister.  Over the last Read More …