I want to clear some things up concerning my post on “Wouldn’t That be Cool?” I wasn’t saying that I wanted to START a new church, though that possibility is always there. My post was just me expressing some frustrations on my part with the current church situation I’m in. All of you have made some very valid and interesting comments, and it seems several of you are experiencing the same feelings I’m having. And Ed, you can hijack my blog anytime you feel like it – I’m enjoying reading your thoughts. You said, “I think that the established churches and para church groups are in the trenches, and there may be some trench thinking that goes along with that, but it is those groups that are feeding/housing the homeless, visiting the prisoners, being fathers to the orphans and comforting the widows, and most of the effective ones are more than a generation old.” I agree that some churches ARE in the trenches and being Christ in ways we may never know, but there are a number of churches that have turned inward just to satisfy the “needs and wants” of their own congregation. And the sermons reflect some of that attitude. Last Sunday my pastor started a sermon series on “Becoming a member of the local church” with an emphasis on being a member of our particular fellowship. While I agree that that is very important because of the number of people who just don’t commit (hummingbird Christians is what he called them – flitting from church to church and never landing on any one), it all seemed somewhat self-serving to me. I suppose, because of our size, this kind of sermon has become “necessary” if we are to continue to be self-perpetuating.

But something just struck me. I am writing from the perspective of someone who grew up in the “Bible Belt,” where there is a church on almost every corner. In our little town there is a church of almost every kind, with several from the same denomination. There are even churches BACK-TO-BACK. I would be curious to see if there is a difference in attitude towards church in areas where there isn’t a strong Christian (mainly Conservative Evangelical) influence. It is not uncommon in our state to still hear a prayer before a high school football game or some other public function. Granted it’s becoming less common, but it still happens.

So how about it? Care to give your opinions on if WHERE you live influences your attitude toward modern churches? Ed, I don’t remember where you live though I think I’ve read it on your blog, but I don’t think it’s in the “Bible Belt.” Gary lives in Seattle, A thinker in the Northeast, Bar in California, Karen in my part of the world, Amber and Brian in Ohio, CJ in Alaska, David in California, DaybyDay in Michigan, Trace in New England, Becky in the Midwest, and on and on. If you read this I would love to hear your thoughts. Don’t be a lurker, say something.