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: What's it like visiting a church with a guest-friendly service? - 7/5/2014 2:08 pm

Church Visits: 10 excuses people give for not attending church - 6/28/2014 11:21 am

Church Visits: Religious pluralism in Alaska here to stay - 6/21/2014 8:28 am

Church Visits: Welcoming churches can reverse attendance slump - 6/14/2014 9:21 am

Crosspoint Community Church Revisit – May 11, 2014 - 6/13/2014 1:44 pm

Church Visits: 5 easy ways to increase your biblical literacy - 6/7/2014 5:23 pm

Church Visits: Cardinal Dolan discusses the pastoral challenges facing Pope Francis - 5/31/2014 1:07 pm

Beast Feast: Great Food and Conversation - 5/30/2014 10:10 pm

Advent Reflection: Pastor Rick Benjamin

Follow my church visit activity at Twitter.com/ChurchVisits

I've asked a cross-section of Anchorage pastors to comment upon Advent as an Antidote for Acquisitiveness or Consumerism. The first pastor to be featured is Rick Benjamin, former Sr. Pastor of Abbott Loop Community Church. Pastor Rick is the Director of Organizational and Spiritual Wellness at Hope Community Resources.

Enjoy Christmas! Celebrate being with friends and family, eat all the great food, and have fun opening all your presents. But don't forget the reason for Christmas - God's gift of Jesus. And don't forget to give - to friends and family - but also to people around us in need. Remember that sometimes the most meaningful gifts don't cost a lot of money, like a photograph, and hand-made item or a hand-written note. Find a way to show love, to help overcome the deplorable commercialization of Christmas, and have a more meaningful personal Christmas experience as well.

God bless and Merry Christmas.
Pastor Rick BenjaminPastor Rick Benjamin

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