Church Visits

Visiting Churches: Chris Thompson (stainedglass) is an amateur Alaskan biblical scholar and student of religion, especially as it relates to popular culture. He regularly attends national and regional American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature events to interact with and learn from worldwide religion scholars. Through unannounced mystery visits to churches in Anchorage and South-Central Alaska, he observes how guests (visitors) are treated during this initial church visit. Research indicates guests first visit perceptions affects further spiritual growth and religious attitudes as they search for a church home. Chris' church visits focus primarily on Christian churches. This blog contains accounts of those visits, and related posts about religion in culture. Chris looks for the following in his visits:

•Genuine welcome, true Christian hospitality

•Friendliness and warmth

•Effective, well-delivered, Bible-based, main teaching

•Music deepening the worship, not just entertainment

Google map of churches Chris Thompson has visited.

Follow my Church Visits posts on Twitter

Chris Thompson’s email: churchvisits@gmail.com

Significant 2013 Church Visits Posts

Top Ten Issues Local Churches Must Address in 2013

Ten Things Churches Did That Blew Me Away In 2012

Guest Post: Why Theology Matters to Musicians

Church Visits: Easter asks for our joy, not our spending - 4/19/2014 1:17 pm

Church Visits: What do millennials look for in worship? - 4/11/2014 10:29 pm

Church Visits: Visits to 2 churches leave 2 different impressions - 4/4/2014 9:19 pm

Church Visits: Research underscores deeper church attendance issues - 3/28/2014 9:19 pm

Church Visits: It's time we get back to observing the Sabbath - 3/21/2014 8:30 pm

Church Visits: Look deeper into Lent than just 'give-ups' - 3/14/2014 10:37 pm

First Congregational Church Revisit: Not Bad - Room to Grow - 3/14/2014 11:23 am

Church Visits: Pastors mark start of Lent by taking ashes to the people - 3/8/2014 10:56 am

Church Visits: Easter asks for our joy, not our spending

ADN now runs Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. This Saturday's feature article can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article highlights commentary on important local and national religion issues. These articles will be available through ADN's online edition, hyperlink posts, and Twitter feeds from me by midnight Friday nights (unless I'm ill like this weekend).

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Church Visits: What do millennials look for in worship?

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. This Saturday's feature article can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition, hyperlink posts, and Twitter feeds from me by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Church Visits: Visits to 2 churches leave 2 different impressions

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. This Saturday's feature article can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Church Visits: Research underscores deeper church attendance issues

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. This Saturday's feature article can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Church Visits: It's time we get back to observing the Sabbath

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. This Saturday's feature article can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Church Visits: Look deeper into Lent than just 'give-ups'

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. Today's feature can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

First Congregational Church Revisit: Not Bad - Room to Grow

My only visit to First Congregational Church was in 2008, shortly after I began this blog. You can read that review HERE. I can’t believe almost 6 years have passed since that first visit. First Congregation Church During Worship Services - 3-9-14First Congregation Church During Worship Services - 3-9-14

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Church Visits: Pastors mark start of Lent by taking ashes to the people

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. Today's feature can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Church Visits: Tools for finding the right church for you

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. Today's feature can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Abbott Loop: Incredibly Loud Music – Great Sermon

Third Visit to ALCC
I made a return visit to Abbott Loop Community Church on February 16. My previous visits are posted HERE and HERE. In many respects this visit was very similar to my first visit with respect to having loud music but presenting a great sermon.

ALCC has two Sunday services: 9 and 11 a.m. I attended the 11 a.m. service.

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Church Visits: Finding the right church can be hard but extremely rewarding

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. Today's feature can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Church Visits: Churchgoing is good for the body as well as the spirit

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. Today's feature can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Alliance Bible Church – Long Service and Gaps

Last Sunday I visited Alliance Bible Church on Dowling between Seward and Old Seward. I’d visited this church several years ago but never wrote up that visit. In the years I've authored this blog, there have been times I chose not to post a visit, either because the service was so disturbing, or some other reason.

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Church Visits: Communion rite can be meaningful or confusing

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. This week's feature can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Community Covenant – Eagle River: New Leadership, Old Charm

I revisited Community Covenant – Eagle River on January 19. Little did I realize what was in store. Blog posts of the two previous visits to Community Covenant can viewed HERE and HERE. It had been almost three years since visiting this fine church.

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Church Visits: Great hymn singing is not dead in Anchorage

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page in the Saturday paper. This week's feature can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

With dedication, meaningful church can be found in Anchorage

ADN is now running Church Visits, a feature article on the Religion Page, in the Saturday paper. This week's feature can be viewed by clicking HERE

Blog postings of church visits and other faith-related issues will continue. The feature article will highlight commentary on important local and national issues. These articles will be available in ADN's online edition and hyperlink posts by midnight Friday nights.

read more »

Don’t Do These 5 Things in Church – Really?

In a recent Yahoo Voices article, a Pastor Franklin wrote an article titled “Pastor Encouragement: 5 Things Not to Do in Church---5 Things Church Attenders Do that Tend to Discourage a Pastor. Click HERE to read entire article.

As I read this article aimed at church attenders, I got a little hot under the collar because I began to see a one-sided rant that did not ring true from my hundreds of church visits.

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Five Church Moments that Blew Me Away in 2013

2013 was challenging year for me as I attended Anchorage churches and wrote of those visits, or other religious matters connected with them. Although I visited many churches and wrote up posts of those visits, there did not seem to be as many “blow me away” moments as in previous years. There is no particular order to this list but it does represent a list of my highly significant spiritual moments. The bolded headings for these moments are hyperlinked to the ADN.com/ChurchVisits post on these particular moments.

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4th Advent 2013 – Anchorage Presbyterian Fellowship – Disappointing Visit

Earlier in 2013, I experienced an encouraging visit to Anchorage Presbyterian Fellowship, a breakaway group from one of Anchorages major churches, posting that visit HERE. I revisited APF on 4th Advent 2013, December 22, as I always emphasize visiting Advent observing churches during December.Candles at APF - 4th Advent 2013Candles at APF - 4th Advent 2013

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