This project was developed over the course of a year. What began as curiosity about the different styles of worship and discomfort over the negative stereotypes of church shopping developed into a keen interest in the worship diversity of my hometown. Through preliminary readings and conversations with multiple professors (primarily my mentor professor, Dr. Aaron Franzen) I narrowed my interests down to using the affects of local culture on worship services to help people church shop at a more intentional level.
Through these conversations, I developed a research question and set of goals for direction:
- To explore the church ecology of the Naperville area, examining the ways in which the worship practices affect the Naperville community, and the ways in which the Naperville community affects the worship practices.
- To explore and learn about the differences between traditional and contemporary worship styles.
- To use the collected data to produce a website that would both aid and inform people about the different types of worship and make “church-shopping” less of a superficial experience and more of an intentional one.
How does the suburban ecology of the city of Naperville affect the Protestant worship practices and how do these worship practices, in turn, affect the Naperville community as a whole?