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 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: Tools for finding the right church for you - 3/1/2014 3:03 pm

Central Christian Finally Updates Website Worship Times

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Well, finally it happened! After months of being in error, Central Christian Church, a primarily electronic-based church out of Las Vegas, has updated their website for Anchorage to actually display the correct service times. Congratulations for doing what virtually any church website coordinator should have done immediately.

I'll probably not revisit this church anytime soon, due to their one-Sunday-per-month "live" pastor's outrageous reference to communion as being merely a "snack", in deference to the "real meal", the BBQ after the service. This grievous error still needs to be explained to the Anchorage church community. Personally, I consider that statement to be a sacrilege.

I also believe it's problematic to try to offer church via a "live" video broadcast with a distant Las Vegas pastor, when a number of Anchorage churches offer decent services not offering the "snack", but real communion with true meaning and life-giving Bible-based services, outside of a cold, sterile, high-school setting. If you don't believe me, write me at ChurchVisits@gmail.com and I'll give you a list of five good choices for your consideration.

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