Monday, August 12, 2013


I am not an expert on church structures, but I like observing local churches and seeing how they present themselves to people and their communities. I like seeing the details of church life.  I collect church bulletins, I check streaming services from around the country, and I read books and articles. What a church "looks like" is of great interest to me.

As I indicated before, I am not an expert (if you are an expert on "organized ecclesiology", feel free to weigh in), but I like to think of two levels while thinking of the public face of the local church:

Level One: personal interaction. This is how the people behave toward each other and to newcomers. In many ways, it is based on a lot of intangibles, such as love, caring, compassion, welcome, acceptance, and so on, but it is really the most important element of the local church presentation.

Level Two: external presentation. These are things like buildings, worship service structure, church government, advertising, and other tangible items. While not the most important factor in what a church looks like, the external presentation can play an vital role in the picture of the church.

For the next couple of posts, I'm going to take a brief look at both of these levels and why neither has to be sacrificed for the other. I welcome your comments and ideas.

Part 1                Part 2


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