Looking for a Service in Anchorage: A Drive-by Account

A couple of Sundays ago, August 16, I went looking for a service. Here is a brief resume of my frustrating search. Undoubtedly there are reasons for each of the described occurrences, but every church needs to visibly show they are “open for business” by signage, member participation, and well constructed websites.

First Target
Initially I stopped at South Anchorage Assembly of God whose poorly constructed website revealed services started at 10 a.m. Arriving shortly after that time, I discovered a parking lot, less than half empty, with very few cars present and people still straggling in. Not desiring to stand out in this small crowd, I left, continuing up Brayton Drive, to O’Malley to drive up the hill.

Second Target
My next target was Hillside Baptist Church on mid-Hillside O’Malley. I also found the parking lot less than crowded. Not anxious to stand out, I continued further up O’Malley.

Third Target
Next I came upon New Grace Christian Church which was only having a garage sale in the parking lot. Pressing the gas to the floor, I continued up to Birch, turned left, and followed it to Elmore Rd.

Fourth Target
My next choice was Anchorage Bible Fellowship. No worship times were posted on their huge reader board, but a swing through the parking lot and a glance in their auditorium windows confirmed church was not in session.

Fifth Target
I continued across Elmore into the Fairview/Airport Heights area. My goal was Anchor Park United Methodist Church on Lake Otis. Sunday school should have been in session with church following at 11 a.m. Nothing but weeds pushing up through their parking lot graced the asphalt. In front of the church I noticed only a couple of cars.

A frustrating morning with many selections but no results.

Sixth Target – Success at Last
Finally I opted to re-visit a dependable church, Cornerstone Church on Brayton Drive, which I’d previously visited and posted a visit report (click here to read previous Cornerstone visit report). I had another good experience at Cornerstone and will post my observations of this visit next.

Lack of posted, current service times on church signs and websites, contribute to the problems I have described. Not being attentive to what visitors see when they drive by your church is also a factor. Cornerstone’s service times were prominently posted on their Brayton Drive sign, and the parking lot showed their members were respectful of the service times. The rest will be described in detail soon. But, rest assured, people “shop” for places to worship by driving by, looking for a church.

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