Why a Bar Isn’t Church

It’s fascinating to me to find the number of people who are shocked by the movement of churches to meet in different locations like movie theaters, schools and bars.

Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of two unlike places intersecting or negative personal experiences in the new location. I can’t say that I’m totally convinced that this movement is good or helpful in healing hurts surrounding the place of church.

But I can say that bars aren’t like churches. When you go to a bar, you are immediately noticed. At churches you are often noticed too, but I’d argue that at bars, the details of who you are (your age, your gender, your emotional state) are not ignored.

When you go to a bar, you are immediately asked how someone can serve you. You might say that people go to bars expecting to be served, but don’t people go to church for the same reason?

After you are served at a bar, you’re asked, “How are you doing? Do you need anything?” even if you’ve been there before, even of the person knows you. Can we say that same thing
about our churches?

I am not saying that churches should be more like bars (or maybe I am a little), but are the two so diametrically opposed that we can’t learn something from each other?