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August 10, 2009

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chris

Forgive my wacky brain that has this classification bent. It noticed that the methods were "information sharing" types. I was curious about "friendship sharing" types such as potlucks and postcards. Are these still in vogue?

Monte Sahlin

Postcards would be included in "by mail" in these data. All of these methods could be "friendship sharing," depending on how they are implemented. That is a dimension that is very hard to measure in research. The majority of members in every congregation that I've surveyed (over 1,000) thinks they they are "warm and friendly" and has a minority that thinks it is very unfriendly. Friendship is dependent on a number of cultural factors and the fit between individuals, as well as between the newcomer and the group, are critical in determining whether it works or not. A fellowship meal following worship is an opportunity for the possibility of individual fit to be tested out. Unfortunately that item was not included in this survey. It would take a number of questions to determine if such a potluck actually works from church to church. It is something that needs to be explored. I have noticed a trend that more and more churches (of all denominations) feel that eating together is an essential part of Christian fellowship that must occur each week with worship. Monthly potlucks seem to be on the way out replaced by weekly.

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