Guest post by Stuff Christians Like
You will not believe this next sentence, but I assure you it is true. Churches are starting to use scent to enhance the experience of Sunday morning.
I'm not surprised by this. How often have you heard people say, "In order to sell your house, bake cookies before visitors come over?" And branding experts like Kevin Roberts of Saatchi & Saatchi predicted years ago that scent was the next frontier in creating a welcoming environment for people. So it makes sense that some churches are piping in scents via their HVAC systems during service and I'm cool with that.
But it begs the question, what does church smell like?
When I first heard churches were doing this, the flavor I figured they were focusing on is "Hope," which I am pretty sure is some sort of mix of pomegranate and pineapple.
(Have you ever seen a fruit dominate all other fruits so thoroughly as the pomegranate? That thing has been making cameos in everything these last few years.)
But what if the scent company, which I am choosing to believe is called, "Smells like Church Spirit" is reading this blog? What if they were open to taking some suggestions from us for new flavors? With the great focus on social justice in the church right now, a lot of blogs are geared at trying to change how our generation serves. What if instead we focused on how our generation smells?
Let's do it today by recommending some fresh new church scents. Here are mine:1. Donkey
That’s gross, right? Wrong. You waft the scent of donkey through the sanctuary during any sermon about the birth of Christ and people are going to immediately find themselves in the manger.2. Bouquet of Vacation Bible School
This is a mix of bootleg cookies, Play-Doh and orange drink. Since glitter doesn't have a smell, it might be nice if you piped in a little bit that could flutter down upon our shoulders from above as if it were angel tears and encourage people to volunteer this summer.3. Carp
A lot of people won't request this one, but if you really want to drive home the whole "fishers of men" or "fish and loaves" multiplication miracle, I think you’re going to need to develop a carp scent you can fill the church with. Bass would probably work well too, but for my money carp is the way to go.4. Old Hymnal
That's a no brainer. Calm down all of us who come from traditional backgrounds by mixing contemporary music with the smell of old hymnals. Scent is the strongest sense tied to memory and we're more than willing to sing a lot of choruses of "Blessed Be the Name" if we're fondly remembering the days of holding a hymnal.5. Gossip
I'm not sure exactly what gossip smells like. It's probably a combination of vinegar, Drakkar Noir from me in the seventh grade and feet. But if you ever preach on it, it might be nice to literally remind people that gossip stinks.
Those are the five I hope my church will one day invest in. How about you? Got any ideas on how church should smell?
What scent do you want "Smells Like Church Spirit" to develop?