Church Shopping Network

“Good morning! Welcome to Faith Church. Is this your first time here?”

Yes. We were out shopping and decided to stop by.

“Oh. Well, what brings you to our church today?"

I said we were out shopping. We are looking for the best deal. You know, doing some test-driving to find the right one for us.

“Test-driving? I don’t understand.”

We are test-driving churches. Churches are like cars, you know. Every so often we need a new one. So we are comparing all the features, looking for the right one for our family. It's a big investment, so we want to find the one that is perfect for us and meets our every need before we fork over a lot of cash. Haha

“Hmm. That’s interesting. What are some of the factors you are looking for, if I may ask?"

Well, we have a checklist of sorts. We rate each church based on five things. The first thing we look for is what we call the

Refrigerator Door Test


“That’s an interesting term.”

Yes. You see, our weekends are very full and our lives are very busy with other things. So we are looking for a church that is open when we need it, like a refrigerator door. It’s good to know there always something tasty inside when the mood hits. Our church needs to have all its services at times that are convenient for us.

“Hmm. Ok. What are some other factors?"

Well, there’s also the

Porridge Preaching Test


“I don’t understand.”

You remember Goldilocks, don’t you? Some porridge is too hot, some is too cold, but some is just right? Well, we like our preaching to be convicting, but not too convicting, challenging but not too challenging, a little Jesus, but not too much Jesus. I think the Bible says something about eating the word, so we want it to be just right.

“I hope you don’t burn your tongue. What else are you looking for?”

The next thing on our checklist is the

XM Radio Test


“I bet I can guess what that is. You want to pick the music yourself?”

Of course not! We want the worship pastor to pick the music, as long as he chooses what we like. Goodness, we aren’t in charge here, are we?

“No I suppose not. Is there anything else you are looking for?”

Yes, there’s the

Youth Group Snuggy Test


“That’s a new one. What does it mean?”

You know what a Snuggy is, right? When you are in your Snuggy, you just feel so warm and content because the Snuggy revolves around you! Our teenagers don’t like to be out of their comfort zone even for a moment. So we are looking for a youth group where there’s not even a second of awkwardness or discomfort. We already make them go to school, so do you think we are going to make them go to church or youth group, too? It’s all about them, you know.

“I wonder where they got an idea like that. So, is there anything else?”

Well, there’s one last thing, actually. It’s called the

Perfect Brownie Test


“The Perfect Brownie? I think I saw that on TV. It’s that pan that turns our perfect brownies every time without sticking, isn’t it? No messes to clean up.”

Yes, that’s right. You see, in other churches we’ve been to, there were, well, difficult people. Some who were kind of strange and some whose lives were kind of messy. I know this is hard to believe, but there were even some people we didn’t like that much and who didn’t like us! So we are looking for a place where everyone is just like us and perfect every time they ‘come out of the pan,’ so to speak. Haha.

“Hmm. Well, I can see why you are still shopping. I wonder what God thinks of your 'shopping list.'"

What God thinks? I'm sure he approves. He certainly wants us to go to church and be happy, right? I mean, this is America, and we did pray about it once.

"I suppose so. Anyway, I'm sure it’s hard to find a place that meets every single one of your very reasonable needs. I don’t know if we can do it here at Faith, but you are welcome to come in and see for yourselves. The service starts in ten minutes. We have a nice coffee bar. The youth room is amazing. And we have a great nursery. Would you like to sign our visitor sheet?"

No thank you. We never sign in until we are ready to make a commitment...