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It happens to all of us! You're visiting the local mall to pick up some cologne and a pair of GAP jeans when suddenly you bump into a church greeter who is offering you a bulletin and inviting you to his weekly small group. Oh no! This isn't Baycreek Mall! You're in Daycreek Church!
To help you avoid this awkward situation in the future, here are some helpful tips for telling the difference between a shopping mall and a megachurch.
- The coffee: If the coffee shop says "Starbucks," you're in a mall. If the sign says "He-Brews Coffee Shop" you're in a church.
- The parking lot: If there's close parking up front for mothers and vets, you're at the mall. If there's close parking up front for visitors, you're at a church.
- The book store: Both locations will probably sell copies of the Bible and White Fragility, so you'll have to look more closely here. If the checkout line has chocolate Harry Potter wands instead of chocolate bars with Phillippians 4:13 written on them, you're in a mall.
- Clothing: If you see a bunch of teens trying really hard to dress fashionably, you're at a mall. If you see a 40-something trying really hard to dress fashionably, you're at a megachurch, and that's the youth pastor.
- Security riding Segways: Good luck with this one. We could think of no discernible difference between Church and Mall cops except that church cops are likely carrying a concealed weapon and are preparing to take you out if necessary.
- Music: When you see live music just wait to see how many times the words repeat. After about 10x it’s safe to say you’re not in the mall anymore.
- Public behavior: When you spot people reading Bibles out in public, chances are high that you’re at the mall and not a megachurch.
- Childcare: If the establishment has a convenient building where you can drop your kids off and completely forget about them for several hours, it's definitely a church -- just the way Jesus intended things.
- Entertainment: Malls will have telltale signs like old, worn-out coin-op rides. Lame! Any church worth its salt will have state-of-the-art attractions like petting zoos and roller coasters.
- Food: If you are really looking forward to a warm gooey Cinnabon but the lady behind the counter hands you a stale doughnut cut in half, you're likely at a church.
- Open or closed: This is hands-down the easiest way to tell: if the establishment is allowed to be open by the government, it's a shopping mall. If it's closed down because it's too dangerous, it's a church.
NOT SATIRE: You don't need a shopping mall building with a food court to grow your church! Visit our friends at New Testament Reformation Fellowship to learn strategies Jesus gave to establish healthy churches. NTRF is a group of pastors with 100+ years of combined, global experience.