What if Church was Fast, Fun & Friendly?

September 20, 2007 by

Brenton Balvin recently went to work for Target and noted that Target strives to be a ‘fast, fun and friendly place to work and shop’ and maybe churches need to be fast, fun and friendly.

In the light of our current series on church visitors these are great concepts to keep in mind:

  • Fast – You’ll probably accuse me of being too consumerist, but how many visitors can sit through a 45-minute sermon? I know I can’t.
  • Fun – Has church ever been fun? And would an outsider consider it fun?
  • Friendly – We all think we’re incredibly warm and friendly, but that’s because you know everybody.
Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
Read more posts by | Want to write for us?

41 Responses to “What if Church was Fast, Fun & Friendly?”

  • mike hosey
    September 20, 2007

    What if brain surgery were fast, fun, and friendly?
    Let’s face it, some things will never by fast fun and friendly, and you should be suspiscious if ever they are.
    Not that those elements shouldn’t exist at all, but their place should never be elevated above the real stuff.
    And no, I wouldn’t say the whole fast, fun and friendly bit is too conumerist. It’s worse. Its a misapplication of the church’s purpose — assuming that you equate visitors with non-christians. As many have written here before, the purpose of the church is to glorify God, and give individual Christians (not unbelievers) a place and system by which they can be edified and equipped to carry out the Great Commission.
    Yes, church whould welcome unbelievers, but ultimately, it doesn’t exist for them. And yes, church should be friendly to visitors and unbelievers. It shouldn’t, however, strive to always be fast, and certainly it can’t and shouldn’t always be fun. In fact, If unbelievers don’t feel a bit uncomfortable at times, the church probably isn’t doing what it should.

  • Jake W.
    September 20, 2007

    Church definately has some issues to face and deal with. Most often I agree with the content on this blog. Today’s comment about “not being able to sit through a 45 minute sermon” was just plain sad. Church shouldn’t always cater to the way our world works. Sometimes Church should be viewed as a different experience than what we go through everyday. If people can’t sit through a 45 minute sermon – two things are happening: 1. the preacher sucks and or 2. the audience needs to relax and slow down a bit. The hectic world will be their when the preacher is done.

  • LayGuy
    September 20, 2007

    What if crucifixion was fast and friendly? Seriously, sometimes I think you guys should be in the corporate world instead.

  • Matt
    September 20, 2007

    Usually I dont post comments on blogs and I agree about 70% of the time with this site’s content. I love its mission and I love what it stands for. I agree that we need to frustrate people out of old, stubborn ways. I used to work for one of the church marketing firms listed on the “Dont Suck” list and I am currently preparing for my career in ministry.
    With all of that said, Ive got a major problem with the idea that we cater to visitors to the sacrifice of those seeking to come together and grow spiritually within the realm of the local church. Above all the local church is to be a place of community where fellow believers edify each other and reach out to the lost in a united effort. When we reduce church to a weekly event or a location and we limit our outreach to church signs, websites, and cool graphics, we sacrifice the theologican meaning behind it all. Ive heard the idea of “express services” where you get your religion and get out and it is an absolute contradiction to the message of Jesus Christ who asked for a whole-hearted, “take up your cross” dedication – not a weekly spiritual fill- up.
    I agree, church isnt always as exciting as one would hope. I agree there needs to be change in certain areas as well. But it doesnt matter if our outreach is a mile wide, if we are only an inch deep then we are simply making converts, not disciples!

  • indie
    September 20, 2007

    I agree with you guys more often than not, but this post is totally off base. If I wanted fast, fun and friendly I’d go to Disneyland. We go to church to worship God. I’m not a promoter of the 45 minute sermon. I go to a liturgical church where the focus is on Eucharist rather than the sermon. But the validity of a sermon to speak to people (whether they be members or guests) is not the measure on the clock but the content of the message. And church isn’t always fun. Not that it can’t be, but frankly sometimes I don’t want to go. A lot of times I don’t want to do what God asks of me. Things like dying to yourself are often not fun. What if church showed guests radical discipleship and let them decide if that were something that they wanted to commit their lives wholeheartedly too. If not, the world has plenty of fun to offer that we can’t compete with. Sometimes church will be fun and that’s good but other times it won’t and that’s ok too. As someone said above, church should be different than what we are encountering in the outside world.

  • Ted
    September 20, 2007

    45 minutes too long? C’mon! I’m used to going in on Sunday morning and leaving Tuesday afternoon…

  • brad
    September 20, 2007

    Wow, this one sparked some reactions!
    There are some pretty mixed up ideas about the purpose of the church. If it isn’t for outreach, then we’ve colossally failed. It should be all about growing community — both growing individuals and inviting new people to a relationship with Christ. That’s the goal behind the call to discipleship.
    Too often I’ve seen both the external (marketing) and internal (edification) motivations turn into empty entertainment. People get their spiritual high — maybe get goosebumps, or shed a few tears — and then return to their regular lives with no fundamental change.
    The call to Christ is not a surface-level change. It’s a commitment to each bear our own cross.

  • Brad Abare
    September 20, 2007

    I’ve got some issues with this as well. While I certainly see biblical support for being “friendly,” it is a stretch for me to see God directing us to be fun and fast.
    Fun is entirely relative. What’s fun to me may not be fun to others. And being fast is also something I don’t think God cares too much about. Since when did God start be limited by time?
    I appreciate the ideas here, but to apply them as a blanket prescription is a bit much. Fun, fast and friendly is not how we filter relationship or community, so it shouldn’t be how we filter a service.

  • Casey VCW
    September 20, 2007

    Wow a lot of people bashing the fast comment. If I recall Jesus had a 40 day fast, but I guess thats not very fast.
    I’m going to have to disagree with everybody else. I love a deep study but somewhere around the 30 min mark I fade like the evening sun.
    And to say that the church does not exist for non-believers is like saying the Bible does not exist for non-believers. I’m afraid it does, but it also exists for believers. I don’t think you can hold one above the other. Both equal reasons for the gospel.
    Paul while he was on trial cared less about his life and “fellowship with believers” than he did about evangelizing to Felix. (end of Acts) Think about it.
    Maybe a better fit would be to have rotating Sundays. One all day sermon for the stubborn traditionalists and another faster more friendly, fun version for newcomers.

  • revolutionfl
    September 20, 2007

    Fun and Friendly make sense. Fast just smacks too much of McDonalds, Fast Food, Franchising Churches, ugh.
    Let’s just stick with Fun and Friendly. Most churches would still fail to meet those two criteria anyway. Why add a third?

  • TeresaB
    September 20, 2007

    I’ve never commented here before but this one kind of struck a chord. Not the original post, but some of the comments. I have to say that if church isn’t for non-believers, then that may explain why most churches are maintaining or dying. When we as “the church” think that Sunday morning service as where we as believers are edified, then we’ve got a lot more problems then bad marketing.
    Yes, the church is to help believers, but have we forgotten the idea that we’re to preach to all the world? Didn’t Paul say that he bacame all things to all people? What’s wrong with having a service that’s geared towards people who are “un-churched” and “non-believers”, but who are looking for “something spiritual”? And while we’re at it, why not make it something that they can enjoy. Not something that’s painful to experience all the time? Oh, and why can’t we preach a concept in 45 minutes? If we organize a worship service around a single idea/concept that the minister reiterates in their message, then 45 minutes is plenty of time. And it can be done without “sacrificing the gospel” as some might say. Maybe the reason people are turned off by church is just this, that we think they aren’t smart enough to figure out the message in 45 minutes.

  • geoffreybrown
    September 20, 2007

    Re Fast: Unfortunately, we are living in a sound-bite world. The American public is not conditioned to sit and listen to anybody for 45 minutes. More than 15 minutes is simply wasted. The best sermons I’ve ever heard — the ones I still remember — were all shorter than that.
    Re Fun: I never thought about it, but I think it really depends on the definition of “fun”. If fun is defined as the opposite of work, then church had better be fun. Is watching drama that gives us goosebumps or brings tears to our eyes fun? Then what is a spiritually moving service that produces the same physiological responses? What about joy (as in “Joy to the World”)? I have the sense that most responses so far on this have been pretty much gut reactions. I think it is nowhere near obvious and there is a whole lot more thinking we should do on this topic before we blow it off.
    Re Friendly: A very good point. In our church, we exchange the Peace — I’m always interested in how many people go out of their way to exchange the Peace with people they don’t know already. Not as many as should, I think.
    Anyway, I was glad to see this topic. It made me think.

  • Jason Curlee
    September 20, 2007

    Been in churches where 45 minutes was like sitting through 5 sermons…especially when it was overloaded with information.
    I have a buddy that used to tell a certain pastor I worked for that he needed to throw away his watch if God was going to move.
    What rubbish…why do we have to go long for God to move.
    Anyone can effectively say what they need to say in 25 minutes…other than that they could be babbling, overloading with info or sometimes just love the sound of their own voice.
    Now I know I’ll get slammed for that but I have been guilty of all three.
    Also God can move in 1 hour, 1 hour 15 minutes or 1 hour and 30…we don’t have to go long to get God to move.
    And yeah…I think more churches could have a little more excitement in them…It is the most awesome event that ever happened in what God did for us…why not celebrate it.

  • Roland Thomas Gilbert
    September 20, 2007

    I’m going to side with those who subscribe to the notion of making it comfortable for the guest, and uncomfortable for the member. Focus on the joy of what Christ has done for us, but understanding the obligation we have as believers to not only hear the Word, but DO the Word and BE the Church.
    That’s not to say that my church follows what I think … most times, my feedback (as “invaluable” as they say it is) is greeted with grunts and groans.
    Maybe I should blog about this on my own site – for all two of you who read it. Ha!

  • mike hosey
    September 20, 2007

    Just wanted to provide a little addendum to my original post since some people seem not to understand what I meant by the statement, “the church doesn’t exist for unbelievers.”
    Let me address Casey CVW’s post since his/hers seems to be the most common criticism of my statement.
    Let’s put this in modern pop culture terms. Football games are not meant for people who are not fans of football. In fact, those games don’t exist for non-fans at all. Certainly, the NFL or the SEC more than welcome non-fans trying out the spectacle and thus becoming fans. But that doesn’t change the fact that football games are meant for football fans.
    Casey compares my churh statement to the Bible: “. . . is like saying the Bible is not for unbelievers.”
    These are not comparable entities. Using my analogy about football games, let me tell you about a big sign in my town. In my town football is very, very important. We have a large electronic, blinking sign. That sign advertises game times, ticket prices, and where to buy tickets. Like the Bible, it is meant for everyone. Anyone, fan or not, can see that sign, and know where the game is, what it will cost, and how to get in. The Bible and the church are two different elements with two different missions.
    In my original post, one of the things I argued was that church exists to equip individual Christians to fulfill the great commission. Not that individuals can’t collaborate, form groups, or do whatever they need to do to evangelize, but the onus is on individuals to meet the great commission, not the church universal itself.
    I am also not arguing that church can’t or shouldn’t be fun, or that it must be long winded. I am arguing that fun and fast should take a back seat to the more important, real duties.
    Too many times in the modern church, fun and fast are more important than authentic Christianity with all of its costs. Learning about the God of the universe, quite frankly, is something that will necessarily be difficult at times, tedious and long at other times, and certainly not fun when one realizes where he or she stacks up against that God’s ideal, and the sacrifice He made to reconcile that shortcoming.

  • Lex
    September 21, 2007

    I love this blog, and agree that the Church in general needs to get with the times as far as marketing. Let’s make sure that in the process of learning to market, however, we don’t forget what we’re marketing.
    Because Jesus calls His disciples to take up a cross, die daily, walk the narrow path, and be a slave to all. It’s not always fun (though there are elements of a worship service that could use a little more celebratory joy), and it’s certainly not quick and easy. Making the gospel comfortable for the unbelievers/visitors is doing them an injustice; it’s “bait and switch” if you want to stick with marketing terms. A Sunday morning church service should be honest and straight-forward; we’re called to create disciples, not backsliders.

  • Matt
    September 21, 2007

    I think I’d like to add to my comment in that outreach IS important. Its just that it is not the role of the morning service. Church is a 24/7 community. It is not just a Sunday morning event. The churches in Acts met together to edify each other and then they went out! They didnt invite people in, they went out to them! My point is that Sunday morning is a time to grow deeper and the most effective marketing program any church will create is the one where they are walking out of the church doors and engaging the culture for Christ.

  • Paul Clifford
    September 21, 2007

    If worship isn’t fun, you’re not doing it right. You’re spending time with someone you love telling them how much you love them. How isn’t that fun?
    People should feel their loved when they walk in. Why do we love people? Our love for people reflects our love for God. We had guys in to perform at a recent event. They stayed until 2am because they’d “never felt this loved before.”
    Respect people’s time. Few things in our society that require going outside the home can be finished in less than an hour except going through the drive-thru. I almost never spend less than an hour at the grocery store, so I think that’s less of an issue. I would stress that pastors not drone on for hours and hours, but again it’s all in delivery. Five minutes can be uncomfortable with a bad speaker; 2 hours can seem short from a great speaker.

  • brad
    September 21, 2007

    A lot of the conflict that I’m perceiving in these comments (and elsewhere on CMS) comes from differing definitions of “church”. To some it’s a meeting once a week on Sunday morning. To others it’s the structure (building or organisation) that holds such meetings. Both are subtly but fundamentally wrong.
    The church is the body of Christ. It’s not something that you go to (or not). If you are a Christian, you are a part of the church. So then each congregation’s responsibility is to live into that reality, and live to deliberately follow Christ and His intentions. If more congregations understood the purpose of the larger church, there would be less competitiveness, and I believe our marketing efforts would be so much closer to God’s heart rather than man’s.
    mike, I think I missed your point about the differences between the Bible and church. Could you unpack that a little?
    Finally, part of worship is recognising our human unworthiness and desperation. Part of it is also owning up to sin — the damage we each cause to Christ’s reputation, and how we hurt those around us. After all, Christ didn’t come to save us from our own perfection. When a person really gets a hold of that, it isn’t exactly “fun”.

  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    September 22, 2007

    Wow. You know, I haven’t written for CMS much lately (still here, working away behind the scenes), but it’s pretty wild to touch off a firestorm like this and get 20+ comments. I’m trying to do that ‘frustrate’ part of our motto. ;-)
    I apologize that I just don’t have the time to respond to every critique. I think it did prompt some great discussion, but I probably should have clarified things a bit more from the get go.
    But let me add this bit of clarification: I was trying to talk about churches being ‘fast, fun and friendly’ in connection with visitors and the series David Zimmerman has been sharing with us. Obviously community-building and connecting with people isn’t something that’s ‘fast’.
    But we live in a microwave culture and if you want to connect with those fast-minded people you may need to consider that. Become all things to all people for the sake of the gospel. It’s another (of many) thing to take into account.

  • Art Good
    September 22, 2007

    “Yes, church should welcome unbelievers, but ultimately, it doesn’t exist for them.”
    It doesn’t? What does “church” exist for? Does it exist to meet the needs and desires of those who are a part of it? Are we here to simply prop each other up and get spiritually fat off of the plethora of teaching and preaching that we have available to us?
    No. The church exists for the unchurched. We exist primarily for those who are not yet part of us. We exist, just like Jesus, to seek and to save that which is lost. Christians like long, boring, dry church services. We think it makes us more spiritual. Of course, churches like that are dead and dying. People far from God won’t sit through long, boring, dry church services – AND WE SHOULDN’T EXPECT THEM TO!

  • Mike Hosey
    September 22, 2007

    Let me address Art Good first, since I apparently hit a nerve. Art, I’m sorry that I didn’t communicate well enough in my previous posts. Sometimes, I have a tendency to be a bit opaque. Please go and read my other posts carefully. I never meant to suggest that church is for making Christians fat. It exists 1) to be the bride of Christ and to glorify God. You simply cannot be a real part of church unless you are a Christian, because church is for Christians to glorify God. You can’t be a true part of that Christian family without first submitting to Christ. You just can’t. 2) It also exists, (and I’m sorry if I didn’t say this effectively) to build Christians up so that they can effectively go out into the world and take Christ’s word and plan to the peoples and nations that do not know him. 3)3)

  • indie
    September 23, 2007

    Geofreybrown said: “If fun is defined as the opposite of work, then church had better be fun.”
    That’s interesting. The early church described worship by using the Greek word “liturgy” which means “the work of the people.” It seems that we have an unhealthy understanding of work if we now see “work” as being antithetical to worship.
    Lex said: “Making the gospel comfortable for the unbelievers/visitors is doing them an injustice; it’s “bait and switch” if you want to stick with marketing terms.”
    I totally agree.
    Paul Clifford said: “If worship isn’t fun, you’re not doing it right. You’re spending time with someone you love telling them how much you love them. How isn’t that fun?”
    If my husband were in an paralyzed in an accident and I had to wipe his butt for the rest of my life I would be telling him how much I love him but it sure as hell wouldn’t be “fun”. Sometimes showing love is not fun. Sometimes it means doing what is best for someone else even though it sucks for you. Its unfortunate when we bring twisted ideas of what love is into our definition of love for God. Love for God is often fulfilling, but it is also often emptying ourselves of our own desires.

  • Jeff Kossack
    September 23, 2007

    Just wanted to chime in and support what Mike Hosey was saying:
    Part of the problem with evangelism in the Church today is that I would argue (purely on observation – no empirical data to support my claims that I’ve run across) that 90% of “evangelism” in American culture today consists of “Ambulance Driving Evangelism” where you throw the sick people in the car and drive them to the doctor so they can make them better. Evangelism has been reduced to, “Hey, want to come to church with me?” We have created a culture of ambulance-driving Christians whose sole model is to bring the unbeliever to an event (Sunday morning service, concert, drama, etc.) Instead, I see the role of the church service as equipping, edifying, and empowering the believer to take Christ outside the four walls and into their world. Then, by inviting others to “follow their example as they follow the example of Christ” and seeing life-change take place, the new believer can be brought into the body to be equipped, edified, and empowered.

  • Conrad
    September 23, 2007

    I’m not too concerned about the time, being that 45 minutes is not an extreme length of time, long, but not ridiculous.
    Fun for me would be the keyword. Sometimes even I feel that the church calls out to the broken, the hurt, the addicts and it appears like it’s a halfway house where everyone is mourning.
    It’s not fun because it is obvious. Because it’s church. We do church. With our church face and church attitude.
    Church and fun seem to have an oxymoron-ish relationship.

  • Conrad
    September 23, 2007

    I wanted to add this: Take communion for instance. Jesus had communion with a bunch of fishermen, his friends. We know the table manner of fishermen. They were probably burping, among other sounds.
    Church took communion and made it boring. Added solemn hymns, sucked the joy out of it and we bow our heads in solemn silence to line up and remember Christ.
    I have rarely seen people smile as they walked up for communion.

  • abby
    September 23, 2007

    Wow, Conrad.
    Have you read the Scriptures related to Communion?
    The narratives in the Gospels?
    What Paul says about it in Corinthians?
    What’s the operative image?
    The Body and Blood of the Lord, given on the Cross, for us.

  • Mark Warnock
    September 25, 2007

    Reading all these comments….
    …it’s like sitting through a 45 minute sermon.
    Can’t we make our Christian disputes Fast Fun and Friendly?

  • Timothy Bell
    September 27, 2007

    To Mike Hosey, if he is still reading the comments to this blog post:
    I haven’t read all comments here but I really like Mike’s comments (very first comment) on the churches’ purpose. I’m cuttin’ and pastin’ your last two paragraphs. Very good comments.

  • George Romano
    September 28, 2007

    Fast, Fun and Friendly? This seems to be the sad state of affairs of the “modern” church.
    Going to church should be a joyful experience, but there are also times when it is very solemn. I’m afraid that reverence has given place to relevance.
    I remember hearing that people used to have the DAY dedicated to the Lord, fellowshipping and worshipping. Now, we have a “Burger King” mentality… I’d like a lite sermon, easy on sin and under 45 minutes…oh, yeah and super-size the skit so I’ll laugh more.
    It’s not about us. It’s all about God. Look what fast food does to our bodies. Do we want our spiritual bodies to be in a similar shape?
    How ironic that in order to post thi comment, the phrase “Please type the word “frustrate” below. (required)” appears below this box…

  • JD
    October 10, 2007

    I have to agree with the first commenter here. Everything does not need to be fast, fun, and always friendly. Although certainly it is a valid point that our church seems friendly because we already know everyone. But i do take issue with fast part especially. The average person (living for 70 years) spends 20 years working, 10 years watching TV and 2.5 years just getting dressed over the course of their lifetime. However, if you spend 3 hours a week at church for 70 years that works out to 1.25 years. Do we really need to make church faster?

  • JD
    October 10, 2007

    We spend 20 years of our lives working, 6.5 years eating and 10 years watching TV, but if you go to church for 3 hours each week for 70 years you only spend 1.25 years of your life at church. Do we really need to make it any faster?

  • Bobby
    October 10, 2007

    I only read a few of the comments here and frankly I am astonished at the tone of some of you. Your idea of the church to not concentrate on reaching the “unchurched” is disturbing. I am no bible scholar but didn’t Jesus pursue the unchurched? He did hang out with the religious scholars but rather the common people. Fast, fun, friendly is ideal for me. If you can’t have a little fun at church and laugh what is their to life. Don’t get me wrong, there must be respect on reverence, but religious strongholds. One of our sayings for our church is that we’re friendly and we’re family and that life is for living so enjoy every moment. Is that not what God intended for us. To worship him and have life more abundantly. C’mon people, so what if the message is only 30 minutes long, if it speaks to someone and causes this person to decide that, Yes, they want Jesus in their life. Would that not be a productive message? For those of you that came down on having fun at church, please don’t send me an invite.

  • Joseph
    October 11, 2007

    This article has made fascinating reading. In fact, I might suggest that the subsequent comments have dissected and delved much deeper into the topic than the original post. I am, like a few others, a first time commentator on this site (though I read it regularly). I think there are some fundamental issues here that cannot be resolved because our perspectives are vastly different. The definition and purpose of The Church poses the first real obstacle. Mike Hosey suggests that the Church exists 1) to be the Bride of Christ. This application is somewhat suspect in describing the purpose of the Church. Being the bride of Christ is who we are it is not what we do. 2)It exists to build Christians up…. Yes, but who says this must be done on Sunday morning in the time alloted for services.
    Some of us have celebration services or celebration experiences that are designed simply to express our love for God in an atmosphere of acceptance and affirmation to everyone who attends. Others choose to interpret their Sunday services as avenues for “discipling” and training believers in living the Christian life effectively (I personally believe that this is why you should have connect, life, or small groups).
    Also, the football analogy is a bit of a stretch. Football does not exist with a stated goal of reaching the whole world. People’s destiny’s don’t depend on their attending a football game. Church on the other hand does. It exists with the stated goal of reaching the whole world with the good news of the gospel. To say the Bible is an expression of God but the Church isn’t is in itself flawed thinking. The Church has Jesus as it’s Head. It is referred to as The Body of Christ. If that isn’t an expression of God, I don’t know what is. The Church is a dynamic, living Body of people at various stages in their walk with Christ. Some are as inept and as carnal as it gets while others are spiritually mature. The Church is called to love, serve and disciple all of them. The danger in Mike’s thinking is presuming that the Church consists of only people who are desperately hungry for spiritual growth.
    Obviously, we cannot exhaustively unpack everything there is to be said about this controversial issue, but I’ve certainly said my two cents worth. Fun, Fast and Friendly are definetly workable.

  • larry smith
    October 17, 2007

    Communications can be dissected into 3 components: content, process, and format.
    The Bibles’ content speaks for itself so to speak, the process is chapter and verse, and the format is most often a bounded paper book, though video, audio, and digital are increasingly popular.
    Sorry, the point being fun is the Word, fast is the process, and friendly is the format.
    Let’s just get the Word out in any and all formats and processes.

  • larry smith
    October 17, 2007

    Also could you consider adding “frequent” your 3F list. (it’s not the trinity but it’s more encompassing).
    Teaching my 8 year old son to read is best done in a 20 minute burst 5 days a week.
    He finds 30 minutes of school and 70 minutes of church crammed into Sunday a bit overwhelming.

  • William
    October 17, 2007

    In finance and marketing there is a “bifurcation strategy” which builds revenue from different (bi-polar) segments of people.
    Clearly the Christian market is being served the long and traditional services, the severe and solemn sermons, and the local welcoming to your church, hopefully friendly.
    FFF might serve a different community. Sorry, but it might be Jesus Lite. It might be a Kindergarten for the uninitiated. Heck it just might be for the 10% of us with attention deficit disorder.
    Why can’t a church offer a broader menu of choices in how to learn, understand and participate?
    How about Happy Hour and a cup of salvation at 5pm on Friday?

  • David
    March 9, 2008

    Equating church attendance as “fun” is diminishing it to worldly semantics. A better word to use is “fulfilling”. The inner fulfillment any functional human seeks is to repair that void within the heart. That is the message of Christ and the sole content and purpose… restoring hearts to God the Father through Jesus Christ the Son. It should not be focused any physiological or emotional reaction resulting in the fleshly context of “fun” nor about a burst of endorphins experienced at a game console or on a trampoline.
    Is the church to be converted into a “Six Flags” for the world to be lured in or did Christ say preach him crucified, an offense to those who are perishing and a sweet savor to those who can hear? Are we to lure unbelievers under false pretense, and then slowly modify their thinking my means of subtle mind modifications without their hearts changing? This concept was largely taught by Rick Warren, who is a converted New Ager, trying to implement worldly tactics. Bill Hybels in November 2007, confessed that this approach does not work and repented of it openly.
    History does repeat itself as any historian can testify. Flavius Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor, announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan. He implemented similar tactics to encourage participation from the community and ended up with a fast growing, diluted and ineffective church. Yes, by human reasoning and its wisdom, the church immediately flourished in number as any church will who uses worldly tactics, but failed miserably in making authentic converts.
    A church can get consumed with not offending unbelievers and being seeker sensitive, but give less thought to those who are earnest for the purpose of God. Consider first your brethren to whom you work hand in hand. There is a great outcry when emergent leaders use the word “fun” in context to the church and its outreach. Please consider replacing the word “fun” with something more meaningful like “fulfilling” as related to the heart instead of a word that reflects an appeasing of the flesh.

  • Liz
    June 17, 2009

    God changes hearts, you just need to get people to start listening to Him. Lure unbelievers? Sure, why not. That’s pretty much what Jesus did with his parables, and meeting “sinners” in their homes, and speaking out in public. Lure people in, then tell them something meaningful, or perform miracles. People came because it was astonishing and amazing. People changed because of God. Put people in the position of allowing their hearts to be changed, and God can do it.

  • Tim
    December 7, 2009

    Why shouldn’t it be fast? The goal is to be more Christ like, what was Christ example? 30-50 word sermon, follow me, clear the area with a big group following, and go do something – followed by “follow my example”. A quite simple, and effective call to action.
    If Jesus could do it in 50 words or less, and Paul in 100 or less, why do we need an hour + long service? Why not a 5 minute service, a call to action, and go out in the world, and do something sometimes? 10 minutes & we are out in the world taking on something the world needs, visible to everyone in the community, and out, and a *part* of it, not just locked away in our million dollar sanctuary…
    I’m not saying to ditch the more involved things for those that want to dig into the academic side of things. That has its place, and we should all spend some time with that, and we should make mention those are available to those who wish to seek them, and make them available – but if that hour a week (or more likely 2 hours) is the only recharge many people in the service are getting, wouldn’t it be more effective to have them frequently out doing rather than tuning out after 20-30 minutes of a service? Which is going to make them more visible, and more important, a part of the the community more likely to draw more people in? Are there no needs in your community that 100 people working together in Christ couldn’t have a pretty good stab at?
    The church that actually does that is the the church I want to be a part of.

  • John
    November 19, 2010

    why not just make church interesting for all? Visitors can get inquisitive on what is going on and why, while the members can stretcht thier faith by being challenged in new ways to live their faith

Leave a Reply

First Impressions & Beyond