The truth is that our church isn’t very glamourous or sexy. It’s not that we hadn’t tried but it’s just not us. I admit that via the internet, everything looks just a little more glitzy. I can’t tell you the number of visitors we’ve had over the year – locally or nationally – who trek to Quest on a Sunday and usually send me an email with a hint of disappointment saying:
Wow. Your church service was kinda plain…
Which is I guess another way of saying…”It wasn’t very sexy.”
And while we admit that it’s nice to occasionally have unique elements to our service, we simply don’t utilize the glitz, blitz, and lights because we can’t sustain it. I don’t share this as a criticism to those that do. It’s great if it’s their ethos and they can sustain it. I’ve discovered that what you utilize to “invite” people to your church is what you’ll need to often retain them.
Our prayer is that folks at our church communty – through both Sundays, community groups, and opportunities to serve and grow would simply experience an encounter with God – by grace – and be compelled to participate more deeply into the mission of God.
At Quest, we try to share with folks that we have no fancy productions, no free gifts, no gimmicks, and we don’t have all the answers to life. We gather to sing, pray, read the scriptures; We preach, celebrate the sacrament of communion, receive tithes and offerings; We encourage people to join community groups. And we encourage people to live out their faiths, to love mercy, seek justice, and walk humbly.
I was reading this blog entry from a recent “visitor” and her family that have been “dating” Quest in the recent months. Her post entitled Lust vs. Love: My Search for Community sums up what I shared above except it’s much better written.
…quest church, however, was not the sexy provocative first impression that i was hoping for. no flashy lights, no pre-service donuts;), no one aggressively tried to stake a claim on us….just not a lot of hype. honestly at first, i was a bit disappointed because it actually has a lot going for it (multi-ethnic/cultural/generational, multiple women pastors, great children’s ministry, communion EVERY week) ….but instead, my initial impression was kind of like that guy in college that i would’ve considered more like a “friend” than someone i would date. unfortunately, that’s NOT what i wanted in a church. i wanted that hot-love-at-first-sight kind of experience! [read full entry]
I hope folks don’t read this as a side jab against sexy, glitzy, or glamorous churches. It’s not. Nor is it meant to be an excuse for the mediocrity we dispense through our churches. But a reminder of something that I am both reminded of and rebuked through the Holy Spirit:
When the glamour, productions, and lights come down: What remains?
And for that reason, Quest has a long way to go. Thank God for His grace and that we can stumble along the Missio Dei – in community.