"Pretty" Bad Church Shopping Experience

   If you are a church going person, one of the first things you do when moving to a new place is look for a new church home. This is a really difficult process if you have moved from a place where you truly had found a church community you loved. This is also a difficult process because it seems Murphy’s Law is in full effect. When visiting a new church, it is inevitable that you will hear a guest speaker or worship leader, or it is a “special service” where nothing is like it usually is, or you have just stumbled upon the weirdest sermon ever. This is a story of the latter.

The hubby and I are accustomed to a non-denominational, contemporary church so it is always risky when you are checking them out that you will find one trying way to hard to be hip and relevant. This particular church that we visited was doing a month long sermon series based on the current Grammy nominated songs. They would take the theme of that song and somehow talk about how God viewed that theme and how we could apply God’s view to today’s world.

The week we visited they were discussing “Unpretty” by TLC. In case you aren’t familiar with TLC, they were an all girl R&B group best known for their song “Waterfalls.” During the height of their fame, one of their members who had been cheated on by her NFL boyfriend got into his house and set fire to a pair of his shoes in a bathtub. The fire got a bit out of control and half the mansion was burned down. Oops. Apparently this song was about her processing through her feelings of rejection because she wasn’t “pretty” enough. Or fire savvy enough, but apparently that doesn’t make for a good pop song.

So the sermon itself was all about our worth in God and how it isn’t based on our worth to man. Which is an excellent point and always a good reminder even if the delivery was quite cheezy. But then the worship team launched into a rendition of the song. By the black, urban R&B group. And they were quite white and middle aged. Like a slightly hipper version of something Marty and Bobbie Mohan-Culp would have done on Saturday night live. Needless to say, it wasn’t really our style.

We did not return the following week for “Livin’ La Vida Loca”. I so wish I was kidding.


  1. Rachel says:

    Wow, that’s a new one!

    We’ve heard some doozies in our visits as well, but never quite that interesting! Then again, most of our visits were to straight-laced Southern Baptist churches, where the entire staff probably thinks TLC is some sort of witnessing model!

    (I’m not knocking Southern Baptists, but they are a little behind the times when it comes to pop culture!). :)

    Rachels last blog post..In Which I Admit I Am The Least Creative Person On The Planet

  2. hahhaha – SERIOUSLY – you can not make this stuff up! I am so with you on the church shopping thing. Thankfully hubs & I FINALLY found a church we hope to call “home” for a long while to come, but our oddest experience (in 3 months of visiting area churches) came in the way of going to church in a local high school cafeteria.

    YEP – I heard they get free rent, so they have no plans of leaving the place. The congregation sat on cafeteria benches…the band was more of a high school in-your-face hard rock (but not the good sounding kind) type – and we happened to make our first & only visit on Mother’s Day. Seriously – hard rock in a tiny school cafeteria on Mother’s Day?? The children were hustled 3 buildings over to be attended to & the nursery workers would only be able to contact you via your cell phone.

    I was so thankful hubs & I mutually agreed it wasn’t the place for us! I even enjoyed the guest speaker that day., but I just couldn’t find it in me to give it another shot.

    Your story takes the cake!

    Vickis last blog post..Woe to the weeds

  3. Wow! And i thought I’ve heard it all…

  4. That is hilarious! Livin La Vida Loca. Really?!?? I kind of want to go check it out.

    Nicole@frugalisfabs last blog post..Walgreens 8/24-8/30

  5. Tracye says:

    Funny. We go to a non-denominational, charismatic church as well, but most of our family doesn’t.

    It seems like every time we bring them with us, it’s a “special” day or service.

    Not really what Lutherans go for!

  6. What an interesting story!!! Great post!

    Tonis last blog post..A few pictures…

  7. i thought i felt your pain after reading your title. Mr. Right and I are currently shopping for a Sunday School class in our mega church.

    but, um, i guess not. wow.

  8. Yeah that’s bad! I so wish it weren’t like that at many churches-the trying to be relevant and cool and all that. I understand the effort, but wonder how far off we are!
    Do you read Stuff Christians Like? If not, you’d probably get a kick out of it. Really funny and true. By Prodigal Jon. Just an FYI. :)

    Heather of the EOs last blog post..Stretching and Panting

  9. This is so our situation right now – 3 months of church shopping. We miss ABC!

  10. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, I am laughing so hard right now. ARE YOU SERIOUS? LOL…That is pretty dang funny girl….church shopping is NEVER fun. DH and I have been since we moved a year ago, he comes from a strict Church of Christ family/background…me..not so much! But I think I would have paid money to be at this service.

    Katis last blog post..Salem Carousel

  11. Oh, you have got to be kidding! That is the funniest thing I’ve heard about church in a while!

  12. LOL okay I admit I have no clue when it comes to contempory music… but in my world TLC has two meanings … the first is “Tender Loving Care” and the second is a brand of yarn!
    So that being said … good luck finding the right church home (I’ll pray you find a good fit!)

    Annes last blog post..A walk down memory lane ….

  13. nicolerenae says:

    Hmmm…that sounds a lot like one my sister-in-law visited, where the praise band played “Livin’ on a Prayer.” She kind of liked it…

  14. I so understand. My man I and are praying and looking for a home church in our new community. We have been for a year. (“Please Lord. Show us where you want us.”)

    We thought we had stumbled upon our place in the Spring. Then Summer rolled around and they announced that they did not have air conditioning. My man quickly said, “No way. No how. I believe God wants me to be cool in worship.”

    We’re still searching.

  15. I am laughing so hard! My husband just became a pastor at a non-denominational church. We have heard quite few stories of people that come through of churches they have been to, but this one is great! I always wonder (and hope not) if we are one that people tell stories about…Although we don’t do sermon series about secular songs :) Thanks for sharing.

    Heathers last blog post..Hilarious Olympic Swim Trial

  16. Oh my! That is hilarious. I hate church shopping. My DH and I were blessed to find a church home at the second church we visited in Nashville.

  17. VERY nice. :)

    jeans last blog post..randomness

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