Last week, while driving on an Interstate in the Southeast, I spotted a billboard that announced: “A church for people who don’t like church.” This description prompted me to imagine exactly what it was that the target market for this invitation might find objectionable about “church” as conventionally experienced.
It is unlikely that the congregation in question was ditching all references to God or to spiritual renewal (although who God is and what constitutes spiritual renewal might well be reconfigured in this setting). And while there are “churches” that eschew making any significant moral demands on their constituents, I don’t know that this was in the minds of the billboard’s presenters. However, since the leaders of this religious enterprise seem so eager not to offend potential clients, I also doubt that vigorous and sustained exhortation will be on the agenda come Sunday.
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Ken Myers is the host and producer of the Mars Hill Audio Journal. Formerly an arts editor with National Public Radio, he also served as editor of Eternity, the Evangelical monthly magazine, and This World, the quarterly predecessor to First Things. He also serves as music director at All Saints Anglican Church in Ivy, Virginia. He is a contributing editor for Touchstone.
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