Now you can church shop without leaving home.
From the mundane to the profane, Internet critics are rating everything. They're even rating churches now on new site called Churchrater.com. Evangelical mag Christianity Today headlined its story on the site Church Raters or Church Haters? probably because anybody can weigh in with an opinion. Visitors. Malcontents. Longtime members.
Reviewers give the church one to five stars. Some churches get raves. Others get rants. One visitor voiced his unhappiness with a pastor whose sermon seemed all about his smug little life. He ended his review with "This isn't what Jesus was about."
There's a top-rated list and a bottom-rated list.
Churches can also "request a rater" in which case ChurchRater will send out three of their raters, who each get $50 for completing a comprehensive survey. Help wanted ads on Craigslist recruit the reviewers.
The site grew out of a popular book written by evangelical Jim Henderson and atheist Matt Casper called Jim and Casper Go To Church. Witty and sometimes irreverent, the book was a journey through the country's most prosperous and popular churches by Henderson, who was once a pastor, and Casper, who had little interest in churches until he teamed up with Henderson. It was well received inside and outside the church community.
Founders hope the rating service will help people who are looking for a church "find a church that fits."