ChurchRater.com: Good or Bad Idea?

Maybe you’ve heard the story about the pastor who hired the atheist to evaluate several churches throughout America? No punchline, this actually happened and they wrote a book together about their experience called Jim and Casper Go to Church: Frank Conversation about Faith, Churches, and Well-Meaning Christians. Now they started a website that allows anyone to rate any church they visit.

ChurchRater.com opens the door for anyone to share their real life experience when visiting a particular church. It basically offers 1 to 5 stars and a place to leave your comments. The site launched about 3 weeks ago but was actually active as far back as three years ago until the owners shut it down and relaunched.

This is a very funny idea to me. What would you use to determine your rating. Friendliness, food, children’s ministry, music, sermon, use of multi-media? I think this is amusing to me because I don’t know that you can really get a good enough feel for many churches by just one visit to a “worship service”. First impression, sure, but a real understanding of the people and their hearts and mission, probably not. Granted, all it takes is a first impression to determine if someone ever wants to grace a particular church again.

LifePoint is one that suffers from first impressions. We are friendly and extremely grace filled but let me be honest, we don’t put on a show. Our music is currently non-existent, we always start late, and we regularly do things that one might not expect to see in church. I guess we might not fair well in a service like this.

What do you think? Do you love or hate the idea and why? Are you running off to place a rating on your church even before this post has ended? Share your thoughts.