Often we become accustomed, thus immune to the environments we find ourselves in day in and day out. Things like a scratch on the wall in the kitchen, that funky smell in the car. We were aware of them, but over time, we simply grown accustomed to having them around.
However, what the first thing you look at upon entering another's house or become aware of as soon as you sit in someone's car?
It's the same way when it comes to church, we often forget what it's like for those "visiting" for the first time. Sadly, we've become immune to the systems where we worship, the lingo has become second-nature and over time we've lost touch with what it's like for a person who doesn't yet have a relationship with Christ.
Jim and Casper Go to Church: Frank Conversation about Faith, Churches, and Well-Meaning Christian, is a book that explores this very reality. Jim Henderson (a pastor) travels around America with Casper (an atheist) to ten different churches. Their observations, reflections and conversations regarding their experience(s) in these churches is captured in this book.
As with any experience, much of it is subjective and could be debated on some levels, however, be that as it may, their reflections make for great penetrating and thought-filled conversations about what we do and why.
The Back-story to the Experiment
Opening Conversation Regarding their Church Experiences
Hope vs. Certainty
What would we do different if we scratch everything we're currently doing as it relates to church?
What would we begin to do, that we're not currently doing?
What would we keep?