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

It's Fourth Advent Sunday 2012

Follow my church visit activity at Twitter.com/ChurchVisits

Fourth Advent Sunday 2012Fourth Advent Sunday 2012It's Fourth Advent Sunday and churches that follow the Advent calendar know this is the week of Christmas as Advent ends Christmas Eve.

The previous three candles in the Advent wreath are relit, and the fourth candle, the candle of love, is lit to join them. On Christmas Eve, the fifth candle, the Christ candle, is lit to join the other four. It's a beautiful tradition full of meaning where the other candles, representing hope, peace, and joy, are joined by the candle of love.

Narrative Lectionary readings for today are Luke 1:26-49, the announcement of Jesus’ birth to Mary; and the news He will receive the throne of David, and be the Son of God. Psalm 113 or 113:9 are also read.

May you enjoy Fourth Advent Sunday as the entire observance of Advent draws quickly to a close. I urge you to worship at a church that observes Advent, as there are many in Anchorage.

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