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Showing posts from April 29, 2011

What Draws People to a Particular Church?

Pastor Mary and I had a conversation this past week that I find myself thinking about a lot. The conversation started Easter Sunday, when we were commenting on the standing-room-only turnout at the 9:00 and 11:15 services. “Why,” we wondered out loud, “do so many people choose St. James’ as the church they attend -- not just on Easter Sunday, but throughout the year? What draws them here?” I was recalling to Mary that in our newcomer classes, I often ask people to line up along a spectrum called, “Why I Come to Church.” On one end of the spectrum is what I call “Word,” and at the other end is what I call “Sacrament.” If the main reason you come to church, I say, is “Word” -- the way that the readings and the sermon make Scripture come alive and make God real to you -- then I ask you to line up on that side of the spectrum. If on the other hand, the main reason you come to church is “Sacrament” -- the way that the liturgy, communion, music or any other component of the worship serv