To Stave Off Decline, Churches Attract New Members With Beer

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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.

Leah Stanfield stands at a microphone across the room from the beer taps and reads this evening's gospel message.

She's a 28-year-old leasing agent who's been coming to Church-in-a-Pub here in Fort Worth, Tex., for a year, and occasionally leads worship.

"I find the love, I find the support, I find the non-judgmental eyes when I come here," she says. "And I find friends that love God, love craft beer."

Written By: John Burnett
continue to source article at npr.org

40 COMMENTS

  1. Beer! Beer! Beer! I think I’ll become a xtian. On the other hand, pubs with good beer and a bad jukebox have never been attractive, and a preacher is worse than the worst jukebox. Sorry, you fail again god-squad.

  2. What next Ganga and Gospels ….why not just hand out money to everyone who can sing along to religious songs…religion is Falling very short and desperate to retain any people by bribery or gain freeloaders for beer ! Pathetic…

    • In reply to #4 by Light Wave:

      What next Ganga and Gospels ….why not just hand out money to everyone who can sing along to religious songs…religion is Falling very short and desperate to retain any people by bribery or gain freeloaders for beer ! Pathetic..

      The Rastafarian christian sect of Jamaica uses ganga as a sacrament in their religious services.

      .

  3. Can’t they just pray and wait on the Lord?Why are they turning the Lord’s house into a den of iniquity?.Verily, I say unto you, a generation of very little faith.

    • LOL. It would seem some people only need beer to convert. The prices have come down. It used to be eternal salvation or 70 virgins- now only beer! Foe shame ;-) jcw

      In reply to #8 by Christiana Magdalene Moodley:

      Can’t they just pray and wait on the Lord?Why are they turning the Lord’s house into a den of iniquity?.Verily, I say unto you, a generation of very little faith.

  4. I can’t say I necessarily oppose the mixing of religion and alcohol. Some of the best beer I have ever had comes courtesy of Trappist monks in Belgium. It’s called Chimay, and it is my (prohibitively expensive) friend.

    • In reply to #12 by Matthew Lehman:

      I can’t say I necessarily oppose the mixing of religion and alcohol. Some of the best beer I have ever had comes courtesy of Trappist monks in Belgium. It’s called Chimay, and it is my (prohibitively expensive) friend.

      Aye! And it’s got quite a kick (9%). Belgian beers rock. Many of those, of monasterial origins.

  5. Dear RDFR’s. The Benedictine monks, of sunny Devon’s Buckfast Abbey, make a lovely profitable tonic. The effects of which equate to the very worst types of teenage anti-social behaviour in the UK’s inner cities. m

  6. homemade stout in a plastic cup

    “Red Solo Cup…let’s have a prayer…!

    Dallas Fort-Worth

    Honky Tonk Heaven?!

    not permanent…transitional

    Ruh Roh, ya’ll started with the big guns – how can you top that(beer), and still be Christian?

  7. eh. They are a young group. Once they start reproducing, they will need to hide the beer from their kids and the church will collapse out of boredom. They’ll hook up and leave when they find someone suitable.

  8. “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”
    (Benjamin Franklin) Source

    Steve

  9. Let us pray

    “Our beer, Which art in barrels,
    Hallowed be thy drink.
    Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk,
    at home as it is in public.
    Forgive us this day our daily spillage
    As we forgive those who spillest against us.
    And lead us not into the practice of sissy wine tasting,
    And deliver us from DUI’s
    For mine is the barley, the hops and the malt, forever and ever.”

    Alas it’s not mine. Unlike Rand Paul, I’ll credit the Source.

    From the Beer Drinkers League of Vancouver Facebook site

  10. I have to laugh at this. Thinking back to my days in a fundamentalist church, the idea of Christians luring people into church (or pub) with beer would have just been considered the kind of story cooked up by atheists and those against Christianity. It certainly would have at least raised a few eyebrows.

  11. The church has known for centuries about evoking a sense of euphoria through singing and religious zeal. Beer is just another string to their bow. I think they should take a short-cut and go straight to MDMA and acid. The churches would be full of loved-up “faithful” then.

  12. Well, if there is one good thing about christianity in Belgium, it is about the contribution of our abbeys to the art of brewing… For instance the ‘West-Vleeteren’-beer is considered by many the best beer in the world and it is brewed by some monks near ‘Flanders fields’. A good income for them now… but historically, there is some more… In a time when healthy drinking water was an exception, drinking beer (or other alcoholic beverages) was the save option. So, abbeys brewing beer in the mddle ages contributed to public health much in the same way vaccination programs do it now.

  13. Leviticus 10:9 – Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations:

    Derp fundies.. maye you should read the bible. Have fun in hell :)

  14. Makes perfect sense. Last time I had to sit through a sermon [in my case, Catholic] I briefly got up, excused myself around the pews, took a kwik stroll around the church garden, rolled a massive reefer and puffed on it for five minutes. Upon getting back inside, the priest had suddenly transformed into a pink octopus with laser eyes who talked about this magical zombie who walked on water and rose from the dead. My point being: shut down your brain; eliminate your higher cortices somehow and get back at being a limbic creature like, say, a reptile – then religion becomes amazingly palatable.

    • In reply to #38 by malreux:

      Friedrich Nietzsche once said that the two things that had ruined Europe were Christianity and alcohol…

      Nietzsche was prescient. Sex abuse researchers implicate those same two characteristics as featuring prominently among offenders. The current Royal Commission in Australia has publicised the symbiotic role of drugs (especially alcohol) and religion in the commission of child rape. Offenders range from priests to scout leaders, but they enjoy religiosity and grog in common, frequently plying their young victims with their sacramental drug.

      One of the earliest documented cases of drink-spiking occurred when Christ’s mother (Mary) persuaded a then under-age Jesus to do so at a wedding. Hallucinating guests thought they were drinking wine.

      One sex abuse researcher, Carolyn Heggen, reported this:

      “A disturbing fact continues to surface in sex abuse research. The first best predictor of abuse is alcohol or drug addiction in the father. But the second best predictor is conservative religiosity, accompanied by parental belief in traditional male-female roles. This means that if you want to know which children are most likely to be sexually abused by their father, the second most significant clue is whether or not the parents belong to a conservative religious group with traditional role beliefs and rigid sexual attitudes.”

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