Sunday, November 25, 2012

Church Critic

My family has given me a ton of good-natured ribbing over this project.  It began when my husband jokingly called me "The Church Critic", and it has evolved over time to an entire rating system for reviewing churches.

Let me be clear.  I am not like Dana Carvey's (hilarious) portrayal of "The Church Lady" from Saturday Night Live.

I'm also not like Siskel and Ebert's old movie reviews with the "two thumbs up!"

At the same time, though, their kidding tickles me and we've come up with what a true "Church Critic" might use for their reviewing system.

5/5 Steeples -- The outside looks very "churchy".

10/10 Alleluia's -- Audience participation is great!

3/3 Bibles -- The sermon actually related to the verse that was shared.

5/5 Hymnbooks -- Godly music!

5/5 Choir Robes -- Usually reserved for full gospel choirs.  :)

10/10 Candles -- Not all churches use candles.  Some use flowers, others are more stark but still they feel like godly places.  Some churches are really, really showy.

4/4 Communion cups -- Communion was offered, explained, and not rushed through.

5/5 Anointings -- I've only been to one church with oil, but one should be prepared!

10/10 Offering plates -- The offering was done in a respectful, non-showy way that did not directly point out who was giving what.  (Believe it or not, I went to one church where parishioners filed in front of the church to put their offering in the basket.  This was very public.  I heard of another church where deacons stood at the doors until the offering was a large enough amount, and then everyone could leave.)

5/5 Coffees -- Would I want to sit down and have a chat with the people who I met?

You get the idea.  This is all in fun, and I hope it made you laugh.  A church experience can't be broken down into all of its individual parts like this, any more than a movie can be.  It's personal, it's individual, and all I can do is write about what I encountered.  Another person, even on that exact day, may feel different things from what I felt.  I do try to add information about what the different denominations are like (since most people tend to stay within the denomination where they grew up), as well as some other observations that I've had about congregations and sermons.  Nothing I write is meant to be taken as gospel (pun intended).

Three out of three Bibles-- it must be good!

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