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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, April 20, 2012

Walk-ins


Several reports have reached me recently concerning folks who walked into church off the street. In each case, they were not church members but people who lived in the area, looking for a church. In one case, the visitor had been following the neighbourhood outreach activities of the congregation and thought a church that was interested in the neighbourhood might be one they would like to be part of. In a different city, the visiting couple had done some internet research and already knew something about Community of Christ world-wide; now they came to try out the local congregation.

In each case the people who "walked in" had no prior association with Community of Christ. Some had previous exposure to some brand of Christianity somewhere, perhaps through attending or visiting Sunday school as a child. Now, probably for reasons known only to God, the person or persons are wanting or needing more.

In previous decades, "brand loyalty" was an important concept in many people's lives. For example, a person who drove a Ford car or truck often loved that brand and was frequently a Ford customer for life. At the same time, there were others who would rather "push a Chevy than drive a Ford!" (Yes I know, them's fightin words!) Similarly, some folks always washed their clothes with Tide while other people swore by Cheer. A great example of the decline of brand loyalty comes from IBM. This company once owned the computer market, but now must compete with everyone else for a share of the business. As marketers are very much aware, there is little evidence of true brand loyalty any more.

Similarly, expectations have also changed in matters of faith. There was a time when people who were raised Methodist, for example, considered themselves Methodist for life. A Lutheran could be expected to always be a Lutheran, a Catholic to be a Catholic, and a Baptist would always be a Baptist. Now-a-days, however, brand loyalty in religion is almost a non-factor. Whereas in previous decades, a Presbyterian in one city might have been expected to look for a Presbyterian church when they moved, today no such assumption can be made. A member of Community of Christ who moves may find a local community church, whether Baptist, Mormon or Unitarian, or may choose to look for none at all.

In our day, a person looking for a church is much less likely to ask if there is a local congregation like the one they grew up in. Instead the questions are likely to be based on their own desires or needs. In days to come, I will have more to say on the subject of "walk-ins." Stay tuned!

Posted by Carman

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