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.

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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

Alaska Lay School of Theology Seminars Announced

An annual treat for religious scholars, laity, and others to study a religious topic of significance is coming! Sponsored by the Alaska United Methodist Conference, professors from Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology come to Alaska to teach several 11-hour classes. This year promises exciting study choices.

The Most Important Christian Since Paul is the study seminar to be taught by W.J. Bryan III, SMU's Director of the Intern Program. This class will focus on the story of Constantine, emperor converted to Christianity in the 4th Century. It invites us to examine the Church and power today.

The Character of Abraham and the Question of What is Most Important in Religion will be taught by Roy L. Heller, SMU's Associate Professor of Old Testament, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor. He'll lead his seminar group to look at the stories about Abraham and ask the question: What quality is most important for those who practice religion?

Classes will be held at St. John UMC on O'Malley on September 20 and 21. A PDF brochure is available for download below. Don't miss this opportunity to study with acknowledged scholars and gain from their experience. The cost is a fraction of what you might pay by attending these classes in Dallas. I've attended several of these seminars and can attest to their quality and worth.

SMU Lay School of Theology.pdf2.33 MB

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