EvangePubs: Come for the brew, stay for the Jesus?

Via NPR:

“With mainline religious congregations dwindling across America, a scattering of churches is trying to attract new members by creating a different sort of Christian community. They are gathering around craft beer.

Some church groups are brewing it themselves, while others are bring the Holy Mysteries to a taproom. The result is not sloshed congregants; rather, it’s an exploratory approach to do church differently.”

I had some difficulty wrapping my brain around this one. Partly because I was immediately distracted thinking up killer “guy walks into a bar” jokes. But mostly because “church-in-a-bar” is so completely contrary to what I identify as constituting “proper worship.”

I come from a long line of good Midwestern German Catholics, so I’m legit familiar with Sunday traditions involving the occasional after-mass pilsener (doing beer on Sunday before it was cool!). But the beer-with-mass model is a new one for me. For certain, I’m sympathetic to the AWKWARD some patrons might experience upon ambling into a bar to discover worship in session:

“Some patrons are understandably confused. They come in for a brew and there’s a religious service going on in their bar. They expected Trivia Night and they get the Holy Eucharist.

‘I tell ’em, it’s a church service,” says bartender Les Bennett, “And they’re, like, ‘In a pub?’ And I’m, like, yeah. Some of ’em stick around for trivia, some of ’em take off, some of ’em will hang out and have another pint or two.”

If you pour it, they will come? Remains to be seen. All the same, it’s definitely an interesting concept, overall.

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