This week I am going to wrestle with some elements of church that can easily become “churchy”. I love our church. I think about it all the time, pray for it all the time and have given my life to serve it. I have always wanted to lead a church that didn’t look churchy. Of course that begs the question, what does “churchy” look like.
I have been part of several churches in my life and visited many more. To me any place that screams religion with the decor or design is churchy. Our new church facility felt churchy before we renovated it. It had blood red carpet, white pews, 2 pulpits (weird), stained glass windows and lights from the medieval times. The first time I walked through it I could smell the religion (or the fact that it had been empty for several years). It felt religious, pious and dead.
But when we were finished, we made it look warm in the foyer, modern in the sanctuary, and updated all over. I say this because some people think that pews, stained glass and crosses are necessary for you to have church. I believe it is traditional icons in the church that make it feel churchy. You might not give a lot of thought to the atmosphere or decor in a church, but I do. I believe if we create an environment where those who don’t go to church feel comfortable (not like they stepped into the twilight zone), then they are more likely to relax and open themselves up to experiencing God in a real way. Church just shouldn’t look churchy. I pray that our church never does.