Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Quick methods of evaluation

Now, I'm not going to say that we should be in the business of making snap judgments about others - but if one wants to figure out a church, figure out where they are coming from, what their attitudes are, I think I have an idea or two about what to look for.

1. Where are the crosses. The Christian faith is about Christ the Crucified - He is the center, and in particular His Crucifixion and resurrection. Does a church believe this? Look at their sanctuary and find the crosses. Are the prominent - do they dominate the architecture. Even if it is a temporary sanctuary, does a cross draw your eye to it.

2. Chat about the Supper. If you want to know what a person believes about the Supper, ask them what it is and why we need it, what it is for. Do they use logic and reason to limit God (it can't be His real body), or God really coming to us. Are we showing our love and devotion to God, or is the main thing God bringing us the forgiveness we need. The Supper is a great way to understand what people believe about God, sin, forgiveness, worship - all wrapped up.

3. Hymns. Look at the words they sing - are they about Me or about Christ? Are they designed to entertain me or to teach me (i.e. am I making a confession about Christ when I sing)? A simply hymnal or songbook can tell a lot.

Just a few simple places to start the evaluation. Any other things you all like to look for quickly?