In my current role as “mystery worshiper” for a newspaper column, I have learned a few key pointers about helping others find your church. The number one issue: Never, ever change your normal worship time without splashing it all over your website! But other than that particular rant, below are some things I have learned after perusing hundreds of church websites. One: Do not assume that a Facebook page provides adequate electronic presence. You still need an actual, up to date, reasonably professional looking website. Two: Make sure your website actually shows up using basic keywords in different search engines. There are … Continue reading You Want to Make the Visitor Welcome? Twelve Website Tips
OK, churches: here’s the rule: If you are going to change normal worship times for any reason, make it clear on your website that you are doing so. Or better, don’t change them. Not if you want to welcome the … Continue reading Denton Mystery Worship Fourteen: They Changed the Service Times!
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Costa Rica for a Pacific Coast sunset wedding at a small, remote place called Samara Beach. No resort town here, despite the spectacular beach. The long, occasionally tortuous drive from the four-gate … Continue reading Wild Dogs and Unwatched Babies: Why We Can’t Heal the UMC
Heat induced indolence had taken residence in body and soul after a week in the remote beach town of Samara on the Pacific edge of Costa Rica. Location: about midway down a large peninsula, a two hour challenging car ride … Continue reading Mystery Worship, Costa Rican Style
Please watch the short video: The illustrator and narrator have asked that continually nagging question: How can there be a good God yet all this bad in the world? Above all, this is the question the church must answer. The question and the current response to reject anything smacking of “institutionalized religion” do not erase the human need for divine connection. It does call into question the way God has been perceived and described for millennia. Is God really the great and fearful power-mongerer in the sky, wreaking vengeance on hapless humanity if we don’t see things a certain way? … Continue reading The Problem of Evil: Deliver Us From Temptation
Mysterious practices, multiple entrances, confusing requirements, authority figures dressed differently with clothing often suggesting power and authority: hospitals and churches have these in common. Another commonality: Both seek to move people from one level of existence to another. From physical … Continue reading On Trying to Donate a Kidney: The Fly in the Ointment
Every Sunday morning, they unload their church from a trailer. Cushioned mats cover concrete flooring for infants and small children; colorful dividers keep the age groups separated. Sound and projection equipment is unpacked, connected and tested. A separate group arrives … Continue reading Denton Mystery Worship Thirteen: Aggressive Church Planting, Acts 29 Network Style
“Do you want to be well?” Jesus asks this of the man who had been ill for 38 years. In the John 5 story, the man doesn’t answer the question, but instead gives an excuse: no one would help him. … Continue reading Do You Want to be Well? John Wesley and Primitive Physic