Monday, December 15, 2008

Church-Related Humor

Funny, and a little sad too...


sf said...

Yeah. . .

The Braeden Bunch said...

That was classic!

hopalong said...

WHOA flashback.

...This is what I mean when I say I was raised "Colorado Springs Christian." Although the churches I went to weren't exactly like that -- they didn't have the funding.

Masasa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Masasa said...

This definitely seems to resonate with the experience lots of folks have had with churches. I showed it to one of the ministers here, whose response was along the lines of, "Ouch!"

hopalong, half the things I found most striking in the video are problems even in very underfunded churches:

*Parking spots reserved, not for families with young children or pregnant women or something like that (or even community elders), but the ministry of the church (I won't mention the lack of parking since that is often a funding issue).
*Extra long, hard to remember name.
*Lack of clarity around which entry to use.
*Greeters not greeting.
*Lack of cohesion, unifying visual input among the many posters, etc.
*Singling out newcomers by having them raise their hands.
*Other folks looking newcomers up and down but not welcoming them.
*Not making it clear where the bathrooms are.
*Remarks regarding the "offering"/"tip" jar that apparently included insider jargon
*Marketing efforts being overly broad rather than targeted.
*Folks being comfortable with being a "best kept secret" in town.
*Blaming newcomers for their lack of return, rather than examining why they might not return other than personal failure.
*Missed opportunities to meet people where they are at...missed opportunities to introduce them to exactly what they came seeking.

hopalong said...

Yeah, a lot of those factors are present regardless of funding issues -- sometimes it's also a lack of organization/members (at one point I went to church in a converted garage, and there were about 12 regular attendees... and that's counting the pastor's four small children).

Most of it had me wincing from embarrassment rather than outrage -- I guess, maybe, because I was thinking, "Well, I've seen worse..." I guess the other half of the "Colorado Springs Christian" thing is the uncomfortable and often outrageous politicking/culture warring, and that wasn't in this clip so much (not what it was about, anyway).

I think the Starbucks/coffee chain comparison is extremely apt -- so many churches seem bent on accruing "customers" more than anything else. The most welcoming church people I ever met stood out to me as so welcoming at least in part because they seemed genuinely interested in talking to us, rather than securing us as new members. (They also invited us, as total strangers, over to lunch... and by "talked to us," I mean for like over two hours).

I think the video clip also gets down the sort of "self-help Christianity" that often goes hand-in-hand with that kind of salesmanship....