How Can We Feed You Today?

A look at the modern consumer driven church

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11 thoughts on “How Can We Feed You Today?

  1. Glad you guys enjoyed it. My church made it as part of a sermon series a couple years back. The series was in response to a large number of calls we used to get asking “who’s preaching this week”?

  2. I have a hard time getting video on my computer, it takes forever, but I saw the first part of it, and thought it was funny. I have to confess though, re: the “who’s preaching this week?” if my husband and I are flying to Washington, DC. in order to vacation and to visit my friends, I will always call the church to ask if Dr. Norris is preaching that weekend when we will be in town, and I will only arrange for our visit on a weekend when he will be preaching. Dr. Norris does a very fine job of preaching simple, clear, and straight from the Bible, and I really enjoy listening to him.

  3. I think if Mormons did church this way very few would attend. Its certainly an article of faith that you sit through/support whoever is called on to speak or give a lesson. This attitudes lends itself to building a certain strength of community.

    However, I think Mormons may not care enough about making meetings enjoyable and entertaining to those who attend. Hard to say where the balance is.

  4. Re: What Jared C just said:

    The exact same thing could be said about the traditional RLDS church, and also the modern, Community of Christ. A few years ago, when my daughter was small and before we moved to OKC, I attended the CoC congregation very near our condo. I had only been back a few weeks when they asked me to do the morning devotional before Sunday school. I was really nervous, and felt like it wasn’t going to be very interesting since I am in no way a polished speaker. But, I got several compliments on it, one from a World Church guy who was visiting from Independence. (In case any Ev’s out there are wondering, if I am asked to speak in the CoC, I will, but I will most likely only quote from the NIV Bible, and I will make it as non controversial as possible. For example, I would never quote from the D & C, since that would go against the part of my conscience that agees with the Evangelicals. However, I wouldn’t stand there and hammer on like some anti-Mormon person, either.)

  5. I must confess to being a little bit amused by some of the “consumer-friendly” approaches used by some of the megachurches and the megachurch wannabes in areas where I’ve lived. A couple of them have advertised excessively about how you don’t have to dress up to go to their church, and another boasts about its climbing wall in the narthex. And, of course, these days some churches give more than passing mention to their coffee drinks you can buy.

    I’m not really all that impressed, and that’s one reason I thought the video was funny.

    On the other hand, sometimes I think the LDS church goes out of its way to be consumer-unfriendly.

  6. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a few things which are “must-haves” or “must-not-haves” when looking for a church. What’s the point of being Protestant if we can’t make use of our tremendous variety and adaptability? When I went church-shopping last year, I made a list of things that were “must-haves,” things that were “important but negotiable,” and things that were “nice but not important.” I tried to be as flexible as possible with my list. Originally I had “egalitarian” as a must-have, but my #2 choice of church wound up being a church that was technically male-headship but with extremely liberal local policies in respect to women. (Note: they specifically rejected the label “complementarian.”)

    That said, I do agree that most of the things listed on the video would be silly things to want in a church.

    My current church has three different preachers; the senior pastor preaches two weeks out of the month and two men who are basically assistant/associate pastors take one week each. I have to miss one week a month to visit my husband’s church. I absolutely adore my senior pastor and I love her preaching, but I’ve been resisting the urge to schedule my visit to the husband’s church on the days that the men preach. I generally (but not always) visit his church on the fourth Sunday of the month regardless of whose preaching I am missing out on at my church.

    The one factor I do take into account is when we have Communion. We only do it once a month (usually) and I refuse to miss it for a visit to his church.

  7. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a few things which are “must-haves” or “must-not-haves” when looking for a church. What’s the point of being Protestant if we can’t make use of our tremendous variety and adaptability?

    Oh, I agree (and would agree even more if I were Protestant). Back in the days when we went church-shopping, the No. 1 requirement was that the church had to be kid-friendly, and the main theological requirement was that it couldn’t be fundamentalist, so we ended up in both mainline and evangelical churches at one time or another. Having a good adult-education program was a big positive, as was being either nonpolitical or politically left-leaning.

    I can understand a bit of what it’s like to be a church “consumer,” and I don’t think it’s inherently bad. On the other hand, I really like the consumer-unfriendly LDS geographical ward system, at least in an area of relatively low LDS population, because it puts us in church with all sorts of people that we might not ordinarily come to know. I’ve been in wards that include both millionaires and people living in $7,000 trailers, and there’s something I like about that and didn’t tend to find in the church-shopping days.

  8. I do like the enforced community concept. . . I remember popping into different churches in silicon valley one Sunday. One church had nothing but European sports cars in the parking lot, the one 4 blocks down had a toothless homeless guy singing “I’ll fly away” before the sermon. I think it would have been more fun to have those groups together.

  9. One thing I liked about growing up RLDS was that there was more than likely only one branch of the church in any given area. You had to get along with the people there, because time and distance made it difficult to go anywhere else. You learn to get along with people you don’t necessarily like or have much in common with. I believe this is a valuable skill to have in life. This experience worked against me after I became an Evangelical, because I probably stayed in some situations longer than I should have. I feel that I probably tried too long to “make things work” when I should have just left.

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