Filter Bubbles and “my” church

When was the last time you worshipped with other believers. Wait, but I mean not at "your" church? I mean when was the last time you joined believers outside of your congregation and fully engaged in worship in their Sunday morning worship gathering?"

Why does it matter? Watch this 9 minute video, and then we'll talk.

"As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us..."

The search engines that “tailor” [filter] what we see.

The effect of the “filter bubble” that homogenizes what we see.

How it should be, so that we see the full picture

What if we would apply the idea of "filter bubbles" to our experience at "our" church. 

The [capital C] Church is much bigger than "your" church. But so often, we only see how we do church. And I believe that if we only get to see and experience one tiny, tiny segment of the Church, we will neither see her full beauty nor have an accurate and appropriate perspective of who she really is.

I have a different experience and therefore perspective than most. I do have a home church, but I am in other congregations about twice a month on Sundays and partner with over 25 distinct congregations each year, seeing not only their Sunday morning gatherings, but, with my ALL-ACCESS, behind the scenes pass, I get to see their inner workings and culture as I coach their leadership.

And I know, I know, "your" church is great and it has everything you've ever wanted, but...

When was the last time you experienced...

• the richness of a Presbyterian liturgy?

• the freedom of an informal house church?

• the artistry of a seeker church?

• the fire of a Pentecostal church?

• the intellect of a United Methodist church?

• the simplicity of a Mennonite church?

• the passion of a "river" church?

• the funky, hand-shaking groove of a black church?

• the community of church?

• the "Word power" of a Bible church?

• the open-invitation tribe at a Mosaic church?

• the diversity of a multi-cultural church?

• the flat out rock n' roll of a big church?

• the newness of a church plant?

• the history of a 250 year-old church?

• the calisthenics of a portable church?

• the familiarity of "your" church?

Does that make you want to get out there and experience something beyond the "filter bubble" that your current perspective gives you? I'd love your comments with further descriptions of your experiences...

And if you're wondering why I keep putting references of "your" church in quotes, I'm trying to correct the perception that we have a church. See we ARE the Church. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 that "I will build my church." I get that you want to call your local congregation "my church" and that's fine. But what I see over and over as I coach churches is that far too often church goers act like it's their church, make decisions like it's their church, make demands like it's their church...and it's not. :) [does that smiley soften it?]

Oh, and if you're a church shopper taking this as a free pass to engage in uncommitted church dating, know this: there is huge joy in being a member one to another of a local congregation, there is great safety in being under Godly authority, and there is a clear command to live in community, be devoted one to another, and to genuinely love each other. That will never happen if you keep up your fickle ways. Plug in.