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"Church Check, a division of parent company Guest Check Inc., announced today the immediate availability of a new service offering, widely differing in scope from its current client base within the hospitality industry."

Thus begins a news release we received at the Christianity Today offices this week. The name "Church Check" naturally caught our attention, as did the offer of the new service. So we read on:

After years of success focusing only in Hospitality, Guest Check was approached by a single church congregation over two years ago, and was asked to consider providing inspection services. Their primary goal was to assess the Sunday morning experience of a non-biased third party visitor … . The church leadership wanted to get an unbiased and anonymous review of the "guest" experience.

For more information, the reader was invited to go to, which we did. There we found the idea further explained:

Our team of savvy professionals can secretly worship at your church, analyze it in detail, and present you with a report detailing items that are lacking. With this report, you can make changes that boost your retention rate and make your church grow. Make the adjustments our team suggests and you'll not only retain more of your first-time visitors, you'll get them talking to their friends about you.

And this:

Guest Check helps you create an environment in which your guests enjoy themselves so much they don't want to leave. More importantly, we help you create a church whose guests can't stop talking about, and we all know the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

So what do these "church inspectors," as they are called, bring with them as they assess these churches?

Regardless of the church's religious ...

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In "SoulWork," Mark Galli brings news, Christian theology, and spiritual direction together to explore what it means to be formed spiritually in the image of Jesus Christ.
Mark Galli
Mark Galli is Editor of Christianity Today in Carol Stream, Illinois.
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