Church / SBC / October 22, 2006

Shotgun Churches

Shotgun House

Pure Church analyzes two recent Lifeway studies and coins a new term–shotgun churches. The first Lifeway study (which I recently linked to) reports on why people leave the church. The second Lifeway study discusses if ‘church leavers’ will return. So, what’s a shotgun church?

You’ve heard of the Victorian, the Cape Cod, the transitional, traditional, contemporary, and the once-fabulous split-level home. There are also the MacMansions popping up all over suburbia. But in the poor, working lower class town where I’m from, the “shotgun house” is pretty popular. That’s those little houses of simple design with one main corridor with a couple of rooms off to the side. They get their name from the fact that you could shoot a shotgun through the front door all the way through the back door without hitting anyone or any walls.

I think it’s time we christen some churches “shotgun churches.” Seems the front and back door of too many churches are wide open. You could fire a sawed-off through one door and never hit a wall or a member. Faster than the speeding bullets can travel through, members enter and leave.

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