Google Search: “church authenticity” Results: 2,910,000
Yahoo Search: “church authenticity” Results: 37,000,000
Google Search: “church transparency” Results: 1,600,000
Yahoo Search: “church transparency” Results: 13,000,000
Google Search: “authentic worship” Results: 287,000
Yahoo Search: “authentic worship”: Results: 9,210,000
What can we learn? For starters, Yahoo seems to be a superior search engine to Google.
Don’t get me wrong. I think the church should be about all of the above. But when we say, “Our church is all about being transparent and culturally relevant with authentic corporate worship that draws people closer to God,” to me, it sounds like we think we already are. Or at least we think that’s what we should be. Must we overuse those terms to a point where they begin to sound laughable?
I suppose it is helpful to know our target audience. If we hope to increase the membership of our individual church bodies by targeting Christians who haven’t been to church for awhile, or those who are currently part of another congregation but are shopping around for a better offer, then I suppose that’s a pretty good slogan. But if I had never stepped inside a church building before in my life, I would read that description and think, “What in the hell are they talking about?”
I love the fellowship of believers. My brothers and sisters in Christ support and encourage me. They also give me some much needed accountability. Having said that, I think it is very easy for us to become so comfortable with only being around other Christians that we forget the task at hand, or worse – we become judgemental and Pharisaical.
I’m not a big fan of Penn and Teller. I really don’t care for magic shows of any kind. Not so much because of the negative spiritual undertones sometimes associated with it. The main problem I have with magicians is that they practice deception as a trade. I really hate dishonesty. I certainly don’t want to pay someone to lie to me. I already do that — I am a taxpayer. (Sorry – tangent.) Many of you have already seen the following video. Whether you’ve seen it or not, I’d love to get your thoughts on it and the post in general: