Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Church Shopping

I heard this funny thing: Somebody volunteered to help out here at the church, but by the time we contacted the person about getting them involved (a few days later), they let us know they had already started attending another church. Nice! Not that this is a surprise. There are so many good churches in the Boston area these days---so many more than when I first moved here 25 years ago. And if you're new, it takes a few Sundays to get around and see them all. What makes a good church? I'm guessing the worship experience is important, the music and the preaching needs to connect. And the community aspect matters, as I guess does location and the sorts of values a church espouses. But here's what I've always been curious about: Once someone has shopped and purchased a church (to keep with the consumer analogy), when and why does the buyer's remorse set in? I naively imagine that committing to a church is not unlike committing to a friendship. You make a friend and naturally desire that the relationship will deepen, so much so that you're willing to adjust expectations and behavior to make it happen. Or maybe it's just a big church thing. Once you get to a certain critical mass, the expectation is to be served rather than serve? Be fed rather than feed? Not that these should ever be dichotomous. One makes the other possible. As the body of Christ, we need each other.