Worship the Waffle House Way, by Phillip Magness

(Phillip Magness writes our “Not Your Grandfather’s Church” Column. In this post he considers the notion of the liturgy as positive branding for a confessional church. Here is the first part of the column. The rest can be read on his blog at the Liturgy Solutions website.)

This morning I had breakfast at Waffle House. I hadn’t been there in a few years, due to a couple of bad experiences, but one of their restaurants was right across the street from our hotel, and the parking lot was full of local plates, so my son & I took a chance and went in. We had a great breakfast, in a clean restaurant full of friendly workers. It brought back fond memories of my youth, when I used to cook at a Waffle House and learned the importance of doing things “The Waffle House Way”.Those who currently run the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod could benefit from considering the benefits of “The Waffle House Way”. They should be open to this, actually, because they are much enamored of the “church growth movement” and tend to appreciate corporate lingo. They may not be so crass as to speak of “market share”, but the overall emphasis on “growing the church” using marketing, mission, and “outreach” techniques means synod & district officials and reports usually have much more talk about marketing strategies than, say, justification or the sacraments.

So let’s take a look at what the brand “LCMS” means to folks as if LCMS were in the restaurant business. Working with the “church growth” analogies like this can actually be quite instructive. (continue reading here)

Phillip A. Magness, Cantor
Bethany Lutheran Church and School
Naperville, Illinois

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