CHURCH VISIT # 3:
Church visit # 3 took place on 13 August 2006.
Yesterday we had a delightful, modern worship experience. We really enjoyed our time among this group of people who are just beginning their congregational history. The church we visited yesterday is a church plant that has been meeting for about 3 months. They began meeting at a local hotel, but yesterday was their second week in the theatre of a local private school.
We had received a direct mail postcard from this church a few weeks before their inaugural meeting at the hotel, and we had been thinking about and excited about visiting them ever since. Thankfully, we knew about the venue change because in our efforts to determine when their service would begin, we went to their website, which had been carefully updated with clear announcements and directions regarding the location change. By the way, their website is excellent; clear, clean, fresh, informative without being tedious, easy to navigate.
The signage on the way was ample and easy to follow. Parking was not a problem. We were warmly welcomed by several people, including one "official" greeter complete with nametag and the young pastor himself. They had a very nice "refreshment" table with coffee, hot water, bagels and sweet rolls. As we entered we were offered a Bible, offering envelope, bulletin and pen - all in one tidy bundle. We had brought our own Bibles, so we just accepted the bulletin and offering envelope.
The service was informal but very uplifting. All of the music was presented via DVD - audio and video with lyrics; no "live" musicians. But it was excellent! They did a total of three songs, divided by the offering and a corporate reading of the Nicene Creed. (My personal preference is to have a longer section of music with 3-5 songs "in a row" - but that is just my preference. I prob'ly need to get over it.)
The sermon was good - informal, clear, organized, Bible-centered. There was no invitation. However, the pastor did show one more video - of a missions team that had gone to Zambia. It fit the sermon topic of being "Jesus' Hands and Feet." It was a beautiful, touching, inspirational video.
We enjoyed this church a lot. There did not seem to be any denominational affiliation. The pastor talked in terms of the Universal Body of Christ. So his philosophy seemed to fit our transdenominational vision pretty well.
I would like to have a personal chat with the pastor some time. I suspect this church plant will grow quickly.