Over the next 2 days we’ll be looking at and talking about a new website named “ChurchRater.com“. I fear that too often I just share my opinion on this blog without allowing for the opposite side of the spectrum to be voiced. So, today I’ll be posting on why I believe this website and others like it are a very bad idea for Christianity and the church. Tomorrow Kurt will be posting about how this could be a very good thing for Christianity and the church. For those of you unfamiliar with the website and its purpose, here is an interesting article about it and here is a video run by a Seattle news channel on how it works:
(Come watch here if you can’t see the video RSS readers)
Why This Is A Bad Idea (By Tyler)
One of the hardest parts of my job as a worship leader is providing musical and non-musical ways to worship God that a large cross section of people can engage with. Rarely does a weekend go by when I don’t hear complaints about something. It could be a song, it could be the volume, it could be how I’m dressed. You name it, I’ve heard it. I call this the consumer culture in the church and nothing about it is good.
All of that is what comes to mind when I think about the premise behind Churchrater.com. I don’t have any issues with the guys behind the website, I truly believe their intentions are great, but the ramifications of this are not.
Why this is bad:
- It reinforces the idea that our consumerist ideas with church are good. We’ve taken the approach we have in the shopping mall and transferred it to the church without realizing what we are doing. I’ve said a lot, “what we win people with, we win them to.” If we are “winning people” to a culture where bigger is better…doesn’t it all break down eventually? Maybe we’re already seeing that.
- It changes our perspective to church being a quality performance instead of a community to engage with. A church that puts on a great show might be fun to attend for a week, but people are going to stay at a church based on the relationships that are built. That is immeasurable.
- It assumes that all people want and expect the same things out of church. I understand that part of human-nature is to critique things and each of us has our own preferences for how things are done, including church. But what I can guarantee is that each of us has completely different expectations of what church should be like.
- It values methodology much more than theology. People are going to be critical of the way things are done, instead of the message behind them. Rather than valuing a church with a strong theological base, we tend to prefer a great band and an interesting message.
(Head over here to check out the post on why this might be a great idea.)