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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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

Prevo Love Offering This Sunday

My mailbox recently disgorged a "Love Offering" appeal for funds (see below) for Dr. Jerry Prevo and his wife, Carol. Ostensibly, it was sent out by the deacons and assistant pastors of Anchorage Baptist Temple. Special emphasis was placed upon his 42 years of ministry here in Anchorage.

I understand the concept of gathering a love offering, especially for underpaid, and less recognized pastors. What I do not understand is taking a "Love Offering" year after year for a pastor who undoubtedly is not underpaid. Pastoring one of Alaska's few megachurches, Dr. Prevo must collect an adequate salary, although I could not verify that amount. Christ said to sell everything you had and give it to the poor. Is this the model?

Paul labored in the New Testament epoch, primarily sustained in his ministry by tentmaking. The Southern Baptist Convention is encouraging more of it's pastors to be gainfully employed while pastoring their churches.

The "Love Offering" practice in cases like this sustain church critics or the unchurched who consistently note that "...it's all about the money." As you will note in the attached copy of the letter or the download, payments are asked to be paid directly to the Prevo's. The love offering is to be submitted by October 6, 2013, this coming Sunday.

I believe Church Visits readers would love to understand more about this practice. Please share your thoughts if you have information to share.Prevo's Love Offering LetterPrevo's Love Offering Letter

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Prevo Love Offering002.pdf616.52 KB

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