Church consumerism

Some friends and I were talking about how church goers are not “brand loyal” anymore.  People don’t hesitate to shop around for a church they like better than the one they grew up in.  What’s more, as it is with restaurants–one bad meal and you never go back—so it is with churches—one bad experience and many try another.

So, what’s going on?  Why do people choose churches which “meet their needs,” to put it positively, or which tells them what they want to hear, to put it negatively?  Why is Sunday morning the most segregated time of the week in our country?

One of my friends suggested that it is due to the fact that Monday through Saturday we deal with such a complex world with so many diverse points of view that on Sunday morning people don’t want any more challenges.  All they want is an hour of peace and love.

That made sense to me.  The problem is that kind of “therapeutic religion” is that a part of genuine religion is the prophetic voice which challenges us continually to move out of our comfort zones.  And that is missing in a religion focused only on feeling good.

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Tom Holmes

Tom's been writing about religion – broadly defined – for years in the Journal. Tom's experience as a retired minister and his curiosity about matters of faith will make for an always insightful exploration...